Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima


Shiiki Toko

USA, Japan/90min./2014

main.haramachiThis film focuses on how several individuals from Fukushima have decided to live fully in the wake of the 2011 Disaster. Shiiki traveled to Fukushima, from the US, in order to hear stories directly from the local people, not just from the media. Through intense conditions and confusion, many of them have developed a new lifestyle, in their own way. Some of them left Fukushima, others stayed, but no matter where they chose to be, these people haven't lost their bright spirit. They live fully, in the now. Moreover, they stay alive by keeping in touch with what they love most - music. Along with the six individuals, Shiiki trace inspiring performances and rehearsals of two unforgettable children groups from Fukushima - a Brass band and Japanese drum ensemble. Their life stories and powerful music intertwine, revealing the essence of living, and encouraging us to consider fundamental questions about our own humanity.
Title in English Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima
Title in Original Language スレッショルド:福島のつぶやき
Director(s) Shiiki Toko
Director's Bio/Filmography Shiiki Toko was born in Japan. She lived and learned in Tokyo for most of her life, before moving to Michigan in 2005, to study photography in college. After graduation, she won multiple photography awards, like The International Photography Awards for her personal work, and she became a freelance photographer. This led to her current fascination with documentary filmmaking, as a vehicle for sharing the stories and storytelling of unique individuals. She has produced several short documentary films since 2012. Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima is her first feature length film. 
Year of Completion 2014
Nationality of the Film USA, Japan
Running Time 90 min.
Aspect Ratio Video: 16:9
Color Color
Screening Format BDDVDMOV Apple ProRes 422
Shooting Locations Fukushima, Tochigi, Okayama, Tokyo
Shooting Dates/Periods Nov 22, 2013 - Dec 1, 2013
April 5, 2014 - May 10, 2014
Names of Characters Abe Kazuyo, Haramachi Daiichi Junior High School Brass Band Club, Endo Genki, The Yamakiya Taiko Club, Kazami Masai, Takuki Yoshimitsu, Otsuka Ai, Yoshikawa Akihiro
Language of Commentary and Dialogue Japanese,
Subtitles English,
Date of First Public Screening 2015/12/4
Place of First Public Screening (Country) Czech Republic
Date of First Public Screening in Japan 2015/12/19
Previous Screenings at Other Film Festivals and Events 2017
• YES (theater), Michigan, USA [July 26, 2017]
• Shibuya UPLINK, Tokyo, Japan [May 13, 2017]
• Ohio State University, Ohio, USA [March 10, 2017]
• Grinnell College, Iowa, USA [Feb 28, 2017]
• University of Iowa, Iowa, USA [Feb 28, 2017]
• "Austria PREMIERE", Vienna, Austria [Jan 19 & Jan 22, 2017]
• Japan Amnesty International Uji, Yamaguchi, Japan [Dec 4, 2016]
• "Scotland PREMIERE", Robert Gordon University, UK [Nov 18, 2016]
• "Philadelphia PREMIERE" MacAlister Hall, Drexel University, USA [Sep 7, 2016]
• Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, Japan [Sep 26, 2016]
• "Tokyo PREMIERE", Japan [Aug 20, 2016]
• Kawauchi village, Fukushima, Japan [Aug 13, 2016]
• Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Japan [Aug 6-8, 2016]
• St. Olaf Collage, Minnesota, USA [April 15, 2016]
• Okayama, Japan [April 10, 2016]
• "New York PREMIERE", The 9th New York Peace Film Festival, New York, USA [April1-3, 2016]
• Takebe, Okayama, Japan [March 11, 2016]
• "US PREMIERE" Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA [March 24, 2016]
• Mito City, Ibaraki Japan [March 6, 2016]
"Japan Tour 2015"
• Nikko Daddy's Cafe, Nikko, Tochigi, Japan [Dec 29, 2015] 
• Art Space Yosuga, Kyoto, Japan [Dec 26, 2015]
• "Japan PREMIERE", Asahiza, Minamisouma, Fukushima, Japan [Dec 19, 2015]
• "World PREMIERE", Selected for the main competition at The 41st International Environmental Film Festival EKOFILM, Czech Republic [Dec 3-5, 2015]
• Special Preview Screening, University of Michigan Museum of Art, USA [March 10, 2015]
Staff Credits Script: Shiiki Toko
Photography: Shiiki Toko, Chirs Asadian
Editing: Shiiki Toko
Sound: Shiiki Toko, Erik Santos
Music: Erik Santos
Producer Shiiki Toko
Distributor / Distribution Company Shiiki Toko
Official Website for the Film
Other Online Access to the film
Screenings at the Past YIDFF Programs and Events None