Women of Fukushima [Official Selection, Japan]

Directed by Paul Johannessen

Women of Fukushima [Official Selection, Japan] Preview

Fukushima, Japan is still a long way from recovery

Six Japanese women offer brutally honest views on the state of the clean-up, the cover-ups and untruths since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, and how it has affected their lives, homes and families.

Women of Fukushima is an OFFICIAL SELECTION

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Women of Fukushima-English subtitles from Paul Johannessen on Vimeo.

Synopsis for Women of Fukushima

Over a year since three reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a broad, disparate anti-nuclear movement is growing in Japan. Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than in Fukushima prefecture, where a group of local women boldly protest the deafening silence of the Japanese government over the worst nuclear accident of this century. Largely ignored by their own media, these brave women brush aside their cultural shyness and share their brutally honest views on the state of the cleanup, the cover-ups, the untruths and the stagnant political climate in today’s Japan. Supported with rare footage from inside the exclusion zone, as well as from abandoned neighboring towns, the Women of Fukushima (“Fukushima no Onnatachi”) offers startlingly candid insights, in the women’s own voices, about what has become of their lives, homes, and families in the aftermath of 3/11.

Statement from director Paul Johannessen

The full ramifications of the aftermath of the disaster that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 will take decades to unfold. Having shifted from the initial visceral drama to a more long-term, almost invisible threat, there is a real risk that the situations faced by residents of Fukushima Prefecture will simply vanish from the radar screens of the world’s media (or, in the case of Japanese media, remain non-existent). To this day, as a result of the meltdowns, children can’t play outside, families are breaking up, and women are even having abortions for fear of genetic damage to their unborn children. Hope is hard to come by in Fukushima.

However, after meeting a group of outspoken local women, we were compelled to capture their spirit and stories. These Japanese women, traditionally shy and quiet, have taken their anger, anxiety, frustration and loss of hope, and turned it into a rallying call to move forward to change Japan and the world into a safer place for our children. Their resilience and honesty in the face of the Japanese government’s lies and complacency compelled us to provide a platform for them to speak their minds. The results surprise, shock and inspire.

Our motivation for making this film was to ensure that an international audience could witness the honesty and courage of these women, who have dared to speak up where others have remained silent.


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Film Credits

  • Paul Johannessen: Director, Producer, Editor, Boom Operator,
  • Jeffrey Jousan: Co-Director, Producer, Sound Editor, Boom Operator
  • Ivan Kovac: Producer, Cinematographer/DP
  • Samm Bennett: Original Music/Composer
  • Morgan Fisher: Original Music/Composer