Text by Asami Katto / Photo by Kaoru Ito / Translated by Tomoe Watanabe
-Little Voices from Fukushima filmed mothers who are making great efforts to keep their kids healthy over radiations in Fukushima and Republic of Belarus. What made you choose to capture mothers as main figures?
Kamanaka: My intention on the film is to protect kids from radiation. And that should be mothers who are in charge of protecting theirs whatever society says. Those efforts of mothers in the film must have reached to mother viewers who keep their unspoken thoughts on the issue. Women are lots more tough than men, aren’t they? I believe that will make change a situation in Fukushima once their power evokes.
-You have told mothers straight when conversation went about school where their kids go.
Kamanaka: No parents want kids to be picked on, so they choose to follow what authority, school and government, says. But, now we know government won’t protect us, then, we have to make our own decision for how we build life, that was what I wanted to say.
-You picked “People Who Choose” as a subtitle.
Kamanaka: When we talk about People who choose, people who evacuate comes first. But, people who stay also made a decision. The problem is that there are many people who turn their eyes away and live like nothing happened. When you choose to stay, then, you have to work on how to protect your own life with all measures.
-So, your trip to Belarus was to find those measures.
Kamanaka: Even experts can’t tell if it’s dangerous or not without examples. There is 25years time lag between nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl and that in Fukushima. Belarus has accumulations of what happened when the accidents occurred and what was effective on the situation. I did want to learn it.
-You found a recuperation program which is to stay away from radiated area for a certain period is effective.
Kamanaka: It is proven in Belarus that radioactive material can be decreased by half with the recuperation program for 21 days for kids and 45 days for adults. So you can also make your kids’ condition better with bringing them out for a month recuperation program in a year. Radioactive materials build up in body as time proceeds. We have to acknowledge that the situation is getting harder in the days ahead, and need to face the reality. The recuperation program should be ingrained and continued for many years to come.
-The recuperation program can reduce radioactive materials to the half Radioactive materials can reduced to halfget decreased by half with the recuperation program. Radioactive figures can be checked and cleared by ourselves. Ingredients can be chosen in an appropriate way. Showing what we can do in the film must bring hopes.
Kamanaka: It’s only limited part of Fukushima in the film. The reality is more complicated and many people are restrained. I want them to hold hope for the future. I want this film to let more mothers know what we can do to protect kids from radiations.
PROFILE / Hitomi Kamanaka
She is a Japanese freelance documentary filmmaker. Even before the Fukushima nuclear accident occurred, she released the trilogy on nuclear power plant issues of HIBAKUSHA, Rokkasho Rhapsody, and Ashes to Honey-Toward a Sustainable Future. Her recent work is Little Voices from Fukushima.
FILM / Little Voices from Fukushima
A documentary film released 4 years after the Fukushima nuclear accidents. Ordinary mothers live in Fukushima and Belarus where the nuclear accident also occurred at Chernobyl choose hopes to make it through over radiation issues for their kids.