In FRIENDS AFTER 3.11, director Shunji Iwai does more than simply turn his documentary lens on the devastated lives and countryside of the Tohoku region following the devastation of March 11, 2011. He asks the difficult questions: Where is Japan right now? How has the country been changed by what its people experienced? What are the chances of a radical rethink?
Friendships are forged through crisis. To create his film Iwai Shunji gathered together those that had become important to him post 3.11 and held long discussions. Their controversial conversations revolve around science and politics, self-interest and altruism, money and responsibility and renouncing atomic power.
We thus meet a young activist in her school uniform, speak to Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui and learn that the same number of people commit suicide in Japan as run the Tokyo marathon. Iwai also felt moved to visit the stricken regions with actress Matsuda Miyuki in tow, as he himself comes from the Sendai, a city directly affected by the disaster.
FRIENDS AFTER 3.11 sets itself apart from the many other post 3.11 films in that it looks beyond the stories of devastation and hope and attempts to take stock of the new Japan in an intellectually comprehensive and challenging fashion.
This is the North American premiere of this film.