Half Life in Fukushima
$12 General Admission
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake followed by a tsunami near the shores of Japan triggered Fukushima’s nuclear disaster. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, the whole population was evacuated leaving a city empty of its people – except for Naoto Matsumura and his father.
Naoto keeps on feeding his cattle, taking care of his fields and observing road traffic rules, regardless of the fact that he is the only one on the road. Meanwhile, the government carries on its vain attempt to decontaminate the area: each time the wind blows, toxic particles are being spread elsewhere on the soil. In this deserted land where vegetation gradually invades the landscape, Half Life reminds us of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film in which the main (and only) protagonist, Naoto, would be “the last man of Fukushima.”
“Naoto stops his car at stoplights on empty streets, waiting patiently for red to turn to green. He tends to his cows. He remains, clinging to whatever semblance he can find of the life he once knew. We can leave Fukushima behind when the credits roll, but that’s because to us, Fukushima is a place we never have to visit. To Naoto, it is all there is.” – Jessica Baxter, Hammer to Nail