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Storyville: Surviving the Tsunami – My Atomic Aunt

Mon Mar 18, 10-10.15pm, BBC4

As hard-hitting as it is simply presented, ‘Storyville’s’ ‘My Atomic Aunt’ is a timely reminder that the impact of the Fukushima disaster is still being felt two years on. Focusing on her aunt and some other former residents of Namie, writer-director Kyoko Miyake narrates this haunting and moving documentary about the current reality for thousands of people in the region.

Abandoned due to high radiation levels, Namie is a ghost town, but while the younger generations have sought a new life elsewhere, the older inhabitants such as Miyake’s aunt have clung to the naive hope that they will one day be able to return to their homes. Her gradual transition from this unfounded optimism to the far more daunting reality is hard to watch, but thankfully there’s enough promise at the end to suggest that the situation, while tragic, isn’t completely irredeemable.