April 1st | 04:00 pm
“What would you do if your entire world ceased to exist, if you lost everything?” In the aftermath of the Fukushima earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and the calamitous nuclear tragedy, German foreign aid worker Marie finds herself overwhelmed by the ravaged landscape and human tragedy. When she meets an elderly former geisha, the two find solace and redemption—despite their tragicomic differences—in an unlikely bond.When Marie arrives in Tokyo from Europe she changes into clown garb, hoping to meet up with an entertainment troupe from the foreign aid organization Clowns4Help. But instead she is joined on the bullet train to Fukushima by only one other clown. Her exaggerated makeup and absurd costume are brought into even starker relief against the bleak destruction of Fukushima’s lonely ravaged landscape. Radiation levels are high; all along the ghostly coastline are black fields of plastic bags containing contaminated soil.
People fled their homes. The few that remained, mainly elderly folk, now live in temporary shelters. Marie’s attempts to provide a brief distraction from their hardships fall flat. She panics and storms off, blurting out: “I’m a stupid, fucking spoiled, arrogant German bitch!” It’s clear she left her home to flee her own demons and is not emotionally equipped to handle the silent pain and heartache that now engulf her.
Satori, an elderly woman (and supposedly Fukushima’s last geisha) dupes Marie into helping her move back into her ruined house in a desolate, unsafe area. “What would you do if your entire world ceased to exist, if you lost everything?” Satomi asks. But Marie has recently experienced a loss of her own and is as adrift in this strange landscape as Satori. Despite their tragicomic differences, the two women find solace and ultimately redemption in their unlikely bond.
Director/screenwriter Doris Dörrie lensed FUKUSHIMA; MON AMOUR in black and white in the Fukushima region of Japan in the wake of the earthquake and the ensuing 15-meter tsunami that disabled three reactors and later resulted in the calamitous nuclear tragedy of March 2011.
East Coast Premiere
Director & Screenplay Doris Dörrie
Cinematography Hanno Lentz
Cast Rosalie Thomass, Kaori Momoi, Mosche Cohen, Nami Kamata
Production Companies Olga Film, in co-production with Rolize, Constantin Film Produktion, ZDF, ARTE
Length 104 min
Awards Heiner Carow Award & CICAE Art Cinema Award, Berlinale 2016; Best Actress (International Competition), Odessa 2016