Cinema with Us 2023

Supported by Kamei Foundation for the Promotion of Social Education

October 6–8   [Venues] CS Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall), F2 F3 Forum 2, 3, YE Yamagin Prefectural Hall Event Square


Since 2011 and the Great East Japan Earthquake, we have continued this program in an attempt to connect people and events through cinema. Twelve years (literally a full circle) later, what are we trying to carry on? As the natural environment and society undergo drastic change, some have swept the memory away to the back corners of their minds. The generations who don’t have first-hand recollection consider the events as something to “study.” However, are they really bygone? This seventh edition will aim to reconnect the past with the present and reflect for the future.

The Sound of Waves
JAPAN / 2011 / 142 min
Directors: Sakai Ko, Hamaguchi Ryusuke

This film was screened in 2011 when this program first began. As they traveled south to Kessennuma, Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki, Higashimatsushima, and Shinchimachi, which were pummeled by the tsunami, the directors made modern oral records out of his conversations with firefighters, lawmakers, and family members such as husbands, wives, and sisters. Directors Sakai and Hamaguchi made a trilogy of Tohoku documentary films, following this with Voices from the Waves and Storytellers (both 2013, YIDFF 2013). Sakai continues to work as a programmer of Yamagata Rough Cut! and Hamaguchi has won international acclaim for film’s like Drive My Car (2021).

Oct. 6 F3

Tsushima—Fukushima Speaks Part 2
JAPAN / 2023 / 193 min
Director: Doi Toshikuni

Following his previous work Fukushima Speaks (2019), this film collects the testimonies of residents who lost their land and livelihood due to the disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The Tsushima district of Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture is a small mountain village surrounded by the Abukuma mountain range. The nuclear accident forced the entire area to evacuate, and even after twelve years, most of the residents have not been able to return. Through the raw voices of people who have been forced from their homes, the film questions the meaning of community, family, and life.

Oct. 8 CS

Radio Shimo-kajiro—The Songs That Led Us Here Today
JAPAN / 2023 / 70 min
Director: Komori Haruka

Shimokajiro Housing Complex is a public reconstruction housing complex for people evacuated from Namie, Futaba, Okuma, and Tomioka, as a result of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In this housing complex, where people gather from different places and where many elderly dwell, they began making and distributing CDs on music they remember, also putting on a show as if they were running a radio program, and even forming a band to play along with the rhythm of each singer. This film is a record of these unusual support activities for the disaster-stricken areas, connected by music to transcend the times and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oct. 6 F3 | Oct. 7 YE

Talk Session
Searching for Something to Share with the Generations Who Didn’t Experience It: Records, Memories, and Emotions of the Disaster

Twelve years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, ten percent of the population is now of the generation born after the disaster. Even though we think of the area as “post-disaster,” in this talk we will consider from a practical standpoint what can be passed on and shared with generations for whom it is an event of the past.

Speakers: Komori Haruka, Kikkawa Yoshie, Ogawa Naoto

Oct. 8 F2