A sign in Futaba, Japan, reads “Atomic Energy Makes Our Town and Society Prosperous,” but there won’t be anyone around to see it for at least five years. After the ruinous events of March 2011—in short, an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown second only to the one at Chernobyl—an entire population was relocated from the danger zone. This documentary sometimes lingers on vistas better suited to a Godzilla movie, strewn with rubble, devoid of souls.
Strategically, director Atsushi Funahashi foregrounds interviews with the evacuees, capturing their frustration at the government, fears over disease and a haunted glimmer of events from 68 years ago. As presented here (cut down from a longer edit), the film might have benefitted from more technical context related to the plant’s failure—this is a cautionary tale worth heeding. But the voices are valuable enough.
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