Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

While in Fukushima this week, I have been visiting the parents, children and public figures who appear in my documentary, 'A2'.  I wanted to thank them for trusting me with their personal stories, and to share with them the news of our World Premier (HERE) and the feedback from the audience in Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. Shibuya had not yet seen 'A2', and so I brought the film with me when I visited their home.  When I met the Shibuya's last autumn, they shared with me the results of their children's thyroid examination results:  both their son, Ayumu, 12, and daughter, Mutsuki, 9, were found to have class A2 thyroid cysts (I wrote about meeting the Shibuya family last autumn HERE and HERE).

Mr. and Mrs. Shibuya watch a scene from 'A2' in which their children appear.
In my past experience with showing my films to the participants who are portrayed in them,  people understandably have tended to be really concerned about how they themselves appear in the film.  But with 'A2' it has been different: all the parents in the film are more interested in learning about the experiences of the other people in the film, people that are in similar situations as they are in but whom they have never met.  And perhaps more interestingly, the parents in 'A2' never seem to comment on how they themselves are depicted in the film.

When I met with Mr. Oouchi, a Fukushima City Councilman who appears in 'A2', I shared with him the news about the film and about what some of our future plans are (I wrote about interviewing Councilman Oouchi last autumn HERE).  I then asked the Councilman how he would like to use the rest of the time that had been allotted for our short meeting.  Would he like to see his own interview, I asked?

"I know what I said," the Councilman quickly replied, laughing.  "I want to know what the audience in Germany thought about the film."

I shared with Councilman Oouchi the video messages from the audience members in Frankfurt (video HERE).  All the way through, he kept nodding his head.

At the end of our meeting, Councilman Oouchi shared with me that he and his wife are expecting their third child.

Councilman Oouchi watches video messages from the audience in Frankfurt who saw 'A2'.


Anonymous said...

This is such important work you are doing Ian. Very much of service to the people affected and the powers-that-be. Praying that benefits will come from learning all they can about this.

Ian Thomas Ash said...


Thank you so much for your kind words of support and encouragement. Peace, Ian

Burkey said...

It is really interesting to hear how the parents in your film reacted, that they were not self-conscious about how they appeared. I hope I can see your film in Los Angeles sometime very soon. I just learned of your work from
I don't know if you've seen Yoichi Shimatu's writings on the San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California, but it might interest you. Thank you for doing this very important work.

Ian Thomas Ash said...


Thank you for your comment and interest in seeing the film. We will be updating as screenings are confirmed.

Thank you for your support!