Nuclear Nation


Funahashi Atsushi


フタバから遠く離れてA documentary about the exile of Futaba’s residents, the region housing the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since the 1960s, Futaba had been promised prosperity with tax breaks and major subsidies to compensate for the presence of the power plant. The town’s people have now lost their homeland. Through their agonies and frustrations, the film questions the real cost of capitalism and nuclear energy.
The day after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, Futaba locals heard the hydrogen explosion at Reactor Number 1 and were showered with nuclear fallout. In response, the Japanese government designated the whole town as an “exclusion zone” and 1,400 of the town’s residents fled to an abandoned high school 250 kilometers away. The entire community, including the Town Hall office, was moved into the four-story building, making the residents nuclear refugees.
The film portrays the evacuees as the nuclear disaster situation changes over time. One of them is Katsutaka Idogawa, Futaba’s mayor, a former active supporter of the government’s nuclear policy, who was lobbying to build two additional reactors. After realizing his constituents were exposed to significant amounts of radiation and that the situation at the TEPCO plant is still unstable, his beliefs begin to change.
Title in English Nuclear Nation
Title in Original Language フタバから遠く離れて
Director(s) Funahashi Atsushi
Director's Bio/Filmography Born in Osaka in 1974. Funahashi graduated from the Culture and Representation Course in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and studied film making in New York. His debut work, "echoes" (2001), won the Prize of the Jury and Audience Award at the Annonay International Film Festival. His second work, "Big River"(2006, starring Joe Odagiri), premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival. "Nuclear Nation" (2012) is a documentary based on materials gathered over a long term. It shows Futaba and its people, who were displaced from their homes by the Great East Japan earthquake. The film was screened in domestic and international film festivals, and took seventh place in Kinema Junpo's Top 10 (2012). His book, "Nuclear Nation", has been published. Feature film "Cold Bloom" tells a story in a disaster‐stricken area, and attempts to approach the problem on how to live in a society after the disaster, going beyond the genre. In 2013, he worked on the documentary "Yasujiro Ozu: hidden line-of-sight, fifty years after his death". (NHK)
His latest work is "Nuclear Nation II", which will open in November 2014.
Year of Completion 2012
Nationality of the Film Japan
Running Time 96 min.
Aspect Ratio Video: 16:9
Color Color
Screening Format BDDVD
Shooting Locations Saitama and Fukushima Prefecture
Shooting Dates/Periods April 2011 - December 2011
Names of Characters People of Futaba in Fukushima
Language of Commentary and Dialogue Japanese,
Subtitles Japanese,English,
Date of First Public Screening 2012/2/
Place of First Public Screening (Country) Germany
Date of First Public Screening in Japan 2012/10/3
Previous Screenings at Other Film Festivals and Events Screenings overseas: At fourty film festivals overseas, such as the Berlin International Film Festival
Screenings in Japan: Auditorium Shibuya and more...
Under four wall distribution across Japan
Staff Credits Script: Funahashi Atsushi, Yamazaki Yutaka
Music: Suzuki Haruyuki
Others:Theme Music: Sakamoto Ryuichi
Producer Hashimoto Yoshiko
Distributor / Distribution Company Hashimoto / Documentary Japan
Official Website for the Film
Other Online Access to the film
Screenings at the Past YIDFF Programs and Events None