20 – 26/1/2020


WED |  22. 1.  |  18:00

Bon Uta: A song from home  | Bon Uta |   盆唄


Director: NAKAE Yuji

A long five years after the disastrous earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, the citizens of one of the affected cities – Futaba – still cannot come back home and have to stay in temporary dwellings around. They find some consolation in the opportunity to participate in organising the traditional BonOdori festival in Hawaii and present the modern-day Fukushima form of BonOdori in Hawaii. In fact, the tradition of dancing and singing as part of the Obon festival came to Hawaii from the area of today’s Fukushima province one hundred years ago.
The themes are losing one’s roots in a disaster-stricken area, reconnecting with the roots of Japanese settlers in Hawai 100 years later to the sound of taiko drums and singing. Director Yūji Nakae (who won awards for Nabbie’s Love (1999) and Pineapple Tours (1992) lets his film ask a crucial question: how much is a person united with the region of their childhood, and what happens to them if they lose the “landscape of their soul” – i.e., their intrinsic identity? While technically a documentary, the film cuts immensely deep. The fact that there real people instead of actors, presenting the true stories of their lives, makes the film’s message extremely powerful and straightforward. Director Nakae worked on it for more than three years. The film can offer Czech viewers answers to any questions they might as when it comes to living in Fukushima before and after the disaster.