Arts and Culture
Six months after The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami as well as the subsequent nuclear accident on 11 March 2011, narrative films began to merge 'real' events with fictional stories. Although ethical questions surrounding the consumption of '3.11'’s tragedy in the form of films can and should be raised, this paper argues that recent Japanese cinema is an artistic intervention towards the government’s dominant narrative of a collective national trauma. Especially in comparison to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy following Fukushima, this paper will illustrate how Japan’s maintenance of its nuclear policy has undermined particular democratic practices and created new precarities. Post-disaster Japanese cinema, therefore, not only challenges the Nuclear State and living in nuclearity, it also highlights what Anne Allison (2013) describes as Japan’s 'muen-shakai' (relationless society) as the actual cause for individual trauma.
In Doris Dörrie’s "Fukushima Mon Amour" (2016), protagonist Marie travels from Germany to Japan after having had a traumatic experience. Apart from the fact that Dörrie’s film is set in the disaster area in Fukushima prefecture, the parallel between a German film’s depiction of individual trauma and many recent Japanese films opens up the question if ‘relationlessness’ is not only a Japanese phenomenon but can be linked to a German and/or more global context. A comparison between Himizu (Sion Sono, 2011) and Fukushima Mon Amour will explore how the fear of nuclear energy could thematically be linked to muen-shakai and the consequential precariousness.