After a decade of extreme provocation in the likes of 'EXTE: Hair Extensions' and 'Love Exposure', could Shion Sono be mellowing? 'Land of Hope' may deal with the aftermath of a nuclear accident, but at heart it's a straightforward melodrama, almost soap operatic in its focus on character and emotion. Following a tidal wave, the fictional Nagashima plant goes into meltdown, resulting in mass evacuations. But while some residents are forced into temporary shelters, their relatives refuse to leave the land they've worked all their lives. There's real power in Sono's simple film, from the name of the plant itself – steeped in nuclear horrors past – to the note-perfect performances of its central cast. And if the film as a whole doesn't satisfy, it's perhaps because the director is trying so hard to broaden his appeal, to make this story of disaster, grief and government interference palatable to the widest audience possible.
Cast and crew