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photo © Thorsten Trimpop

A small town in Fukushima's exclusion zone searches for normalcy after the world's biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl. A teen rocker, a media-savvy activist, a conflicted TEPCO engineer, and a female horse breeder cope with the loss of their homes and the unseen danger of radiation. Each faces a crucial decision: to stay or to go? Furusato, or hometown, is an unsettling portrait of daily life amid an ongoing cataclysm, one with repercussions far beyond Japan's shores. FURUSATO reveals a way of life that has taken hold amid tremendous uncertainty and risk, in a place rarely seen and often misunderstood. Culminating in a samurai horse race with a thousand-year tradition, the film offers a space to reflect on the larger issues of progress, its untold sacrifices, and the true cost of the way we live today.

Thorsten Trimpop is currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA. He just completed his new film, FURUSATO 古里, a human-scale portrait of a small town in Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. His first feature film, THE IRRATIONAL REMAINS, premiered at the Berlinale and won numerous awards around the world. His earlier film and theater work have been presented at venues such as the Locarno Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam. Currently he teaches Filmmaking and Film Studies at Boston University and the Massachusetts College of Art. He is also a fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where he is working on a new project.
Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2016
Director Thorsten Trimpop
Screenplay Thorsten Trimpop
Cinematography Thorsten Trimpop
Producer Tobias Büchner
Production Company Büchner Filmproduktion/Cologne
Length 90 min
Format Blu-ray, DCP, color, 1:1.78
Original Version
 Japanese, English
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Viennale 2016, DOK Leipzig 2016, Ann Arbor 2017
Awards Golden Dove DOK Leipzig 2016
With backing from BKM, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Gerd Ruge Fellowship, DEFA Foundation, LEF Foundation, Geneviève McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation, Documentary Educational Resources

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