The Shippensburg University Department of International Studies continued its latest film series with “The Land of Hope” in the John L. Grove Forum last Tuesday.
“The Land of Hope” is a Japanese film that explores the theme of keeping a sense of unity after a natural disaster.
The film follows two families in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, earthquake and Fukushima nuclear meltdown that claimed more than 15,000 lives. The families are faced with either evacuating their homes or staying to risk the long-term effects of radiation exposure.
“The Land of Hope” is a movie instead of a documentary, unlike the previous films in “The Environment in a Global Context” series. Stephens said that although the film is not a documentary, it can still be described as “more real” than the series’ other titles.
The picture is set in Japan and tells the story of two families — the Onos and the Suzukis. An earthquake and tsunami strike Japan, which results in a nearby nuclear plant’s reactor blowing up and causing a nuclear meltdown. Each family copes with the aftermath in their own way as the fear of radiation intensifies.
The risk of radiation exposure tests the resolve of the Onos as the father, Yasuhiko, and the mother, Chieko, stay at their house while their son and his wife leave to settle in a safer place.
“It’s like we had a stake driven through us. This time, the stake is radiation,” Yasuhiko said in the film.
The Suzukis evacuated their home and stay together for a while until their son and girlfriend set out on their own. Despite radiation providing an unsafe situation for the couple, they look out for one another.
The film highlighted how unity and emotion can keep people together even through the toughest of times.
The next movie in “The Environment in a Global Context” series is “Plastic Planet,” a documentary that shows the environmental dangers of plastic. It will be shown on April 23 at 4 p.m. in the Grove Forum.