Nuclear Empire (Macau, 60 min)

Subtitles: English

Directed by: Patricia Neves

The only country in the world attacked with atomic bombs is again facing the fear of radiation after experiencing the first nuclear accident of the 21st century. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate after the explosions in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, triggered by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever and tsunami waves of up to 40 meters high, and they don’t know yet when and if they will be able to return home. The energy that made Japan’s dream come true has become the country’s worst nightmare and the arrogance of the political and economic powers has generated an unprecedented unrest and crisis of confidence.

Review:

Nuclear Empire

By Marie Francillon

On March 11, 2011 Japan encountered a horrific triple disaster that resulted from the strongest earthquake Japan had ever experienced. Causing a tsunami that killed more than 17,000 people, and ended with a catastrophic explosion of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Thousands were forced to leave their homes after the blasts deemed their homes uninhabitable. Nuclear Empire gives an in depth look at the tragedy people had to endure, as well as the aftermath these survivors continue to experience.
This short documentary starts off with an introduction by Shoji Kihara, explaining the 1st atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima many years ago. It then opens up to acknowledge the amount of earthquakes this country experiences due to its location over the earths’ tectonic plates. Then the film quickly jumps into unsettling footage of the tragic events of March 11, 11. Footage taken likely from survivors’ cell phones, show scenes of homes and buildings being washed away as the waves topple over them. As survivors recall their thoughts of the worst being over, some speak on the uncertainty of their safety as they heard the sirens after the nuclear power plant blast. Leaving many areas as ghost towns, and feelings that this explosion could have been prevented, the survivors of this documentary then shifts from sadness and dismay to anger and action.
Nuclear Empire holds true to its name as some survivors speak of their distrust in the government and feeling that the well-being of Japan’s economy by the use of nuclear power plants to keep their “Empire” afloat, is more important than the people who live there. Causing many to protest, while some have decided to migrate back to the areas they once called home. By the end, this documentary makes you want to immediately join them in their fight. Nuclear Empire is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown at the festival on October 12-18, 2015.