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Virtual: ‘Alone Again in Fukushima:’ A Documentary Screening and Conversation
February 4, 2021 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
This spring will mark the tenth anniversary of the triple disaster that on March 11, 2011, brought an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear meltdown to eastern Japan. To reflect on this anniversary, the Carolina Asia Center, Carolina Public Humanities and the Department of Religious Studies will present Alone Again in Fukushima, a documentary about Matsumura Naoto, a man who chose to remain behind when his hometown was evacuated along with the rest of the area around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
This is the second documentary that filmmaker Nakamura Mayu has made to profile Matsumura’s life in the nuclear zone. While the first film documented Mr. Matsumura’s solitary life with a variety of animals—from cats and dogs to livestock, this sequel explores how things have changed (or not) in Mr. Matsumura’s hometown over the course of eight years since the disaster as some residents have begun return.
Registrants for this event will receive a link to watch Alone Again in Fukushima before the February 4 at 7:00 p.m. event (English subtitles provided). All participants are invited to bring questions for a broad-ranging conversation with Nakamura Mayu, Matsumura Naoto, and Barbara R. Ambros, professor and Chair of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill after the documentary screening. Together, these panelists will discuss some of the central questions that this documentary raises: What does a disaster like this reveal about the fragility of human dominance over the natural world, and what wisdom can we draw from it as we move forward into the 21st century? What responsibility do humans have towards animals, especially during moments of crisis? What do Matsumura’s experiences in the nuclear zone show us about the human capacity for resilience, especially during a pandemic that has forced solitude upon many of us? This conversation will be moderated by Joanna Sierks Smith, Associate Director for State Outreach at Carolina Public Humanities. This event is free and open to the public.