Then and Now Documentary

by Paul Johannessen
(Tokyo, Japan)

In November 2011, we traveled to Ishinomaki, Japan to interview survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that had hit the coast of Japan exactly 8 months before. Survivors shared their stories of survival and their experiences of the recovery efforts now underway as they attempt to rebuild their lives and their town.

Over the next year or more, we would like to further document the recovery efforts going on in the Tohoku region, as the unfolding stories are clearly treading a fine line between triumphant success and hopeless despair. The cleanup of rubble is progressing but initiatives to re-establish communities and provide mental health services are at best floundering or at worst simply non-existent. There is a very real risk that the survivors of the tsunami are being forgotten, overshadowed by the events in Fukushima with the nuclear meltdown and fallout.

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