Otto Bell’s new documentary The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima is a half-hour immersion into the scarred, forgotten world left behind by the 2011 earthquake, nuclear disaster and mass evacuation in Japan. The film doesn’t settle on one thesis or narrative strand, but it does prod uncomfortably at how quickly human beings can forget about the implications of a devastating disaster – an unnerving reminder at a time when the world faces a second deadly wave of coronavirus.
The Japanese government’s push for resettlement includes enlisting local hunters to dispose of radiated wild boars roaming the empty streets and buildings. One of the film’s vignettes follows a hunter named Goru-San as he snares and shoots the toxic pigs that cannot be eaten. In other fragments, residents describe absent children, robbed ancestral homes, isolation and cancer diagnoses.