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5th DMZ Docs(2013)

I AM DOCU



The Horses of Fukushima

MATSUBAYASHI Yojyu

  • Japan
  • 2013
  • 74min
  • HD
  • color

Synopsis

Planet Earth is not just a living space for human beings. Yet, humans use it carelessly without even asking for the understanding of other animals and plants. One of the most fatal cases of abusing the Earth is the existence of nuclear power plants. Two years have passed since the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima caused by a tsunami and an earthquake, but tonnes of radioactive water are still being leaked out into the sea, whilst simultaneously the fear of Japan’s radioactive contamination has risen rapidly. This film shows that while we complain that our lives are devastated because we have to avoid Japanese goods and marine products, we fail to notice a much more important fact. This is, that when the evacuation was ordered in Fukushima, following the nuclear accident, humans were not the only living things there. Minami-soma, where the Nuclear Power Plant No. 1 was located, had been traditionally associated with horses throughout history. For over a thousand years, Minami-soma had hosted a festival of horses, which was regarded as one of biggest traditions in the area. This film focuses on the horse farm of the Tanaka family who had run the farm for three generations. While the residents of Fukushima were evacuated, most of the locked-up horses died of starvation, and the few remaining horses perished from diseases. The director commented that, as a male, he had deeply sympathized with the pain of a male horse whose genitals were hugely swollen. By repeatedly zooming in on the male horse’s swollen genitals, he powerfully calls attention to the relation between the nuclear accident and the destruction of the most essential life energy in all living things. The ending sequence reminds us of the external homogeneity between the gigantic mushroom cloud caused by the explosion of the nuclear power plant and male genitals. Through this scene, the director makes the audience realize that nuclear development is directly linked to radioactive contamination that threatens the very reproduction of living things on the earth. Two years have passed and the horses that narrowly made it are again used for the festival. Yet, they no longer run, eat and reproduce as easily as before. What more is there to say about the insidious danger hidden behind the laundered image of nuclear power as “the cleanest energy” used for making our lives richer? (KIM Ji-mi)

Director

  • MATSUBAYASHI Yojyu

    Born 1979 in Fukuoka, Japan. In 2004, he completed his graduation film Dear Respectful Humans, a documentary about a homeless man, and started his career as assistant director at a TV production company. His documentary was completed in 2009 as the film Flowers and Troops. The film was acclaimed and received the Yamaji Fumiko Film Prize and Tahara Soichiro Non-fiction Prize. His first feature documentary after the 311 tsunami and nuclear disaster Fukushima – Memories of the Lost Landscape was invited to Yamagata, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, and other film festivals.  The Horses of Fukushima (2013) Fukushima – Memories of the Lost Landscape (2011) Flowers and Troops (2009) Dear Respectful Humans (2004)​ 

Credit

  • ProducerHASHIMOTO Yoshiko, KINOSHITA Shigeki
  • Cinematography MATSUBAYASHI Yojyu
  • Editor MATSUBAYASHI Yojyu
  • Sound KUWAKI Tomoji

PRODUCTION COMPANY / WORLD SALES

PRODUCTION COMPANY   Sanjoma Film 40 To foo Films 

WORLD SALES   

E-mail  fujioka@tokyo.yidff.jp​