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“Complicity and Victimhood: Director Kamanaka Hitomi’s Nuclear Warnings” on Japan Focus

Introduced and translated by Norma Field

“They keep saying on television that it’s safe, there’s nothing to worry about. I regard this as criminal.” So Kamanaka Hitomi stated on a recent talk show. [“The harm caused by trace amounts of radiation will show up ten years later … Director Kamanaka Hitomi appeals to her fellow citizens to awaken to the threats posed by radiation: ‘Tokyo is now a contaminated area, too.’ Cinema Today, April 17, 2011, link.]

Kamanaka’s pursuit of the issue of nuclear power over a dozen year has resulted in three films to date. The first, Hibakusha at the End of the World (2003), followed the ravages of radiation from Iraq (depleted uranium contamination following the Persian Gulf War) to Hanford (downwinders of the plutonium factory) to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The second, Rokkasho Rhapsody (2006), explored both the health effects of radiation and the social rifts created by the siting of a nuclear reprocessing plant in northern Japan. Her most recent work, Ashes to Honey: Toward a Sustainable Future (2010), depicts the nearly three-decades’ long struggle by fishermen on an island in western Japan to block the construction of a nuclear power plant, juxtaposed with a look at communities successfully converting to renewables in Sweden.

Continue reading at “Complicity and Victimhood: Director Kamanaka Hitomi’s Nuclear Warnings”.

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