I got to cover the Tribeca Film Festival debut of Odayaka yesterday. It was my first Tribeca film festival and it was pretty exciting.
The movie takes place in a Tokyo suburb and follows the lives of two women who live next door to one another, experience the same anxieties and worries after the earthquake and nuclear incident, and eventually their paths cross in a dramatic way. It focused on the prejudice that people from Fukushima faced when they fled to other parts of Japan and one of the main characters, Saeko, experiences that herself when she decides to go against the grain and be vocal about her doubts and concerns over just exactly what qualifies as “safe”
I hadn’t hear about Japanese people from Fukushima being ostracized by other Japanese people until I attended a panel on Fukushima at the UN last month. I also learned how women with children tend to suffer worst after these disasters. They fall victim to increased domestic violence and abandonment. What struck me most about the film was the focus on the female characters, their connection through shared emotions and worries and their support of one another in the end. I’ve heard stories about mothers creating networks for themselves in Tohoku to share information and create solidarity with one another. All in all, it was a really good film and I recommend it to anyone who can see it.