Japanese Film Festival recalls tsunami disaster

A scene from Wanko, a feature film to be presented at the film festival. Photo courtesy the Japan Foundation

A scene from Wanko, a feature film to be presented at the film festival. Photo courtesy the Japan Foundation

HA NOI (VNS) – A series of Japanese films on natural disasters will be presented at a film festival from September 13-15 at Ha Noi’s National Cinema Centre.

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Viet Nam is holding the event to celebrate the Japan – Viet Nam Friendship Year and to remind people of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Tohoku, Japan.

The aim of the festival is to advise audiences how to handle similar disasters happening elsewhere. All the screenings relate to natural disasters in Japan, according to cinema centre official Huyen Trang.

The film festival opens with a documentary film, The Radio of Hope (2012). It depicts the struggle of town residents caught up in the Japanese disaster. They ran an emergency radio station to try and cheer up victims. The documentary has been a long-running hit in Japan since its first screening last year.

Light Up Nippon (2012) is another documentary film related to the same disaster. It shows how young people tried to energise the devastated areas in Tohoku through fireworks, a Japanese traditional art form with a long history.

Eclair (2011) is a feature film about an orphan boy who survives World War II by thinking about sweets and singing. The film was made in 2010 in several locations in Miyagi Prefecture, where the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit a year later. Most of the locations were wiped out by the tsunami. Many of those involved in making the film become the victims of the disaster.

Another feature film, Wanko, depicts the life of a family and a dog living in Miyakejima, a small island where an active volcano exists. Based on a true story, the film is a real tear jerker.

“We hope that the audience will keep the memory of the March 11 disaster and think over what is important in their lives through these films,” said Trang.

Free tickets are available at the Japan Foundation, 27 Quang Trung Street, Ha Noi.

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