№ 018/2016 from Jan 21, 2016
In his documentary Tell the Prime Minister, the Japanese director and scientist Eiji Oguma addresses a topic that up to now has drawn little international attention, namely the Japanese anti-nuclear movement that formed in response to the meltdown in the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. On February 4, 2016, shortly before the fifth anniversary of the meltdown on March 11, the film will be shown at Freie Universität Berlin in the presence of the director. It will be the first screening in Europe. The film includes footage of demonstrations in Tokyo in 2012. According to the organizers, more than 200,000 joined the demonstrations. Interviews with eight activists are also included. Following the screening there will be a discussion with the director. The documentary will be shown in the original Japanese with English subtitles. The screening is open to the public, and admission is free.
After the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and before the Umbrella Revolution in Hongkong, during the summer of 2012 about 200,000 people in Tokyo demonstrated against the nuclear energy policy of the Japanese government. Since there were few national media reports about the demonstrations, the world learned very little about the anti-nuclear movement in Japan. The film Tell the Prime Minister gives citizens a voice, providing many of them an opportunity to tell about their experiences after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
The movement brought together people from different backgrounds. The film features the Prime Minister who was in office at the time, a woman evacuated from Fukushima, a political activist, an artist, a salesperson, and a business owner, among others. Speeches and official meetings between activists and the Japanese Prime Minister are also shown. The footage is from Japanese and non-Japanese citizens who posted their films online.
Eiji Oguma is a professor of historical sociology at the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University in Tokyo, and as of February he will be a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. His research focuses on national identity and nationalism, colonial policy, democracy, and social movements in modern Japan. Tell the Prime Minister is the first film he directed.
Stefanie Schäfer, Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-60423, Email: email@example.com