The lives of many people in Fukushima prefecture changed forever in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster on 11 March 2011. In addition to the immediate consequences and the displacement of residents evacuated from the communities surrounding the nuclear plant, there was the stigma and everyday challenges faced by people and businesses in Fukushima as they picked up their lives again. Filmmaker Toko Shiiki documented the personal stories of some of these individuals (sake brewers, music teachers, students…) in the following years, showing their resilience in the face of the practical and emotional difficulties they encountered living in post-3/11 Fukushima.
Please join us on Friday 26 March to discuss with director Toko Shiiki about the filmmaking process and the stories behind her documentaries Over The Sky (2018) and Passing the Baton (2018). Over the Sky follows a music teacher, “Abe sensei”, trying to empower the students by bringing together her junior high school brass band for a competition as they return to Minamisoma having been evacuated from the area after the disaster. Passing the Baton features Yasuhiko Niida, the chief brewer of a family-owned sake brewery in Koriyama, whose plan to celebrate the 300th anniversary immediately came to a halt when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster took place.
Selected clips from these works will be screened and discussed during the online event, and links to the complete films will be sent later to those attending to watch for one week after the event (until Friday 2 April 2021).
Toko Shiiki is a Japanese photographer and documentary filmmaker based in Michigan, US. Her use of photography as a narrative medium inspired her to explore documentary filmmaking, where she delights in meeting fascinating people and sharing their stories with the world. Since 2012, she has produced several documentary films, covering subjects like the life story and awareness of an award-winning sake chief brewer in Fukushima in the short film Passing the Baton (2018). She made her feature-length debut in 2015 with Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima, and the sequel film Over The Sky (2018), which chronicled how Fukushima residents weathered the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster. Over The Sky was screened at the Yamagata International Film Festival in 2019 and Passing the Baton has been nominated in the nonfiction competition at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2019.
Websites: http://tokoshiiki.com / http://thresholdfukushima.com
If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email us at: email@example.com.
Free for Japan Society members and their guests.
Non-members price: £5 (More details on how to become a member here).
Links to the complete films will be sent later to those attending to watch for one week after the event (until Friday 2 April 2021).
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Book online (members) Free
Book online (non-members) £5.00