In an apartment house in Tokyo, two families live next to each other. Yukako and Tatsuya are married but do not have any children. Saeko and Noboru got married because Saeko became pregnant with their daughter Kiyomi who is now 5 years old. On March 11th 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake strikes. The two women have no other choice but to wait at home for their husbands to come home. Their anxiety and sense of insecurity increase as the hours pass.
Many problems arise after the earthquake but the most serious one is the accident of the Nuclear Plant in Fukushima. Although Tokyo is not close to Fukushima, it is not far from it either. After a while, people in Tokyo go back to their daily lives ignoring the dangers of radiation. They don’t wear masks for protection, eat food produced in the disaster-stricken area, and keep repeating “we must stay strong”. The media reports that “there will be no immediate effect”. On the other hand, information on the internet states the opposite of what the government is announcing. Amid conflicting reports and information, Yukako and Saeko don’t know what to trust.
The government may be lying, or they could be hiding something. As suspicions grow, Yukako gradually becomes mentally imbalanced and Saeko’s emotions burst. Tatsuya finds himself caught between his wife and the people at his workplace and Kiyomi faces the same kind of dilemma. The two families’ lives cross when an upsetting event takes place…
Selection Committee Comments
“A very serious film that shows how people responded after 3/11 and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Maybe we watched it on CNN, but we didn’t know what it was really like for the people on the ground. This film shows the human side. It’s about people, and most of all, a mother and her daughter. And her neighbor, a determined young woman who decided to take action. Their personal concerns about what they could eat, what they could drink, and what they should do. Their concern that they weren’t really being told what was happening, and their distrust of what information they did receive.”
“Thanks to the hand-held cameras and the film’s coloring, it has a very realistic feeling. You feel like you are really there, watching the whole thing unfold, on the spot. It doesn’t seem like a film; it feels eye-witness.”
“At the end of the day, this is about a mother who would do anything she could to protect her daughter.”
“It’s a strong critique of Japanese society and the pressure to conform. It just happens to be about Fukushima. “
“After 3/11, many Japanese filmmakers went to Tohoku to make films about the triple disaster -- the earthquake, the tsunami, and the meltdown at Fukushima. Some of them were openly anti-nuclear and anti-government. Odayaka is much more subtle. You just watch the events unfold, and you have to think for yourself.”
“This is the one film during CineMatsuri that I think people will want to talk about afterward in a serious way.”
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