or visible wars – a form
of protest is due…
… and protest is what you get here. I watched another film on-line the other night called The Land of Hope, from 2012. Based around a family who have to evacuate their town with the other town residents, following the failure of a nearby nuclear factory which in turn followed an earthquake. This is close to Fukushima. Well, the whole family don`t evacuate as the patriarch of the family and his wife decide to stay behind. Correction, the patriarch decides that they will both stay behind. Unfortunately, his wife has Alzheimers but even so it`s not that the patriarch is taking advantage of his wife`s condition. He insists that they are so rooted in the area like the tree outside their house which they planted on their wedding day so they just cannot leave, much to the chagrin of the local authorities who send people to try to evacuate them. He also loves his wife to bits so you know he is doing it for both of them. Their son, on the other hand, is persuaded to leave with his wife and just as well as his wife finds she is pregnant while living in their new town. She takes no half-measures regarding the protection of her unborn child from radiation and the town people mock her for it (she goes around in a space suit). Well, not to spoil the end but the father`s protest is admirable and he really loves his wife who despite her condition is equally attached to him and their garden. As a character in the film points out, this nuclear radiation fall-out really is an invisible war and the pregnant daughter-in-law is dealing with her battle as vehemently as the patriarch of the family. Scenes are filmed amid the destruction from the tsunami including over-turned houses in destroyed towns, now ghost towns. I had not watched any films based on March 11th up to now but this one is quite good. The lies of the government are mentioned a few times and television shows show presenters trying to play down the danger.
I came across another film when I happened to find the above film so I watched that last night. It`s set before and during World War II and is a kind of a protest film against war. Twenty Four Eyes is the name of the film. This young teacher, who is seen as different from the start due to the fact that, in 1928, she cycles to work and wears a skirt suit instead of a kimono (shocking!!), protests against the war and is seen as not being patriotic enough. She is repeatedly cautioned by her school principal for it. She is very attached to the children she teaches (the parents took a while to get used to her) though the boys among them who want to be soldiers, and even her young son, call her a coward for her anti-war views. I think it drags on a little too long but it`s quite nice. This is not one of Yasujirõ Ozu`s but his favourite actor appears again, not as a father but as the young teacher`s older teaching colleague who`s a bit cranky but not bad.
Well, I`m going to take a break from Japanese films for a while as I have two non-Japanese films to watch in the next week which I got from my library – a Woody Allen classic and a Lasse Halstrõm film. Looking forward to watching both, especially Halstrõm`s as I`ve heard so much about him but haven`t watched any of his films yet.