Documentary Film

The Asahiza in the Haramachi district of Fukushima’s Minamisoma City, within the 30 kilometre zone from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, opened as a small theatre and movie theatre in 1923, the year of the Great Kanto Earthquake. This wooden theatre, beloved as a symbol of the town, closed in 1991, and has since been regularly used for film screenings by citizens’ groups. This work traces the local community’s memories of the theatre and its long history, and has a nested structure comprising of footage of interviews of those who have continued to live in the town and those who have moved away, as well as documentary footage of film screenings held with people invited from outside the town. The interaction and delicate relationship realised by the film screenings between the local community, young people who have moved away from their hometown, and people attending from outside is recorded in a perspective view. This multi-layered structure allows the work to address issues in Japan not directly discussed in the film but which have become evident as a result of the nuclear disaster – the relationship between rural and urban areas, problems of regional economies, and social issues such as aging.

ASAHIZA 人間は、どこへ行く