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Emotional Fallout: The return to Fukushima

YouTube user Tim Pool has documented his trip into the exclusion zone of Fukushima, finding an eerie landscape where life goes on.


American YouTube documentarian Tim Pool is our vessel as we drift through the fragmental destruction left in Fukushima.

Strange intro music aside, it’s a sobering trip back:

The clearest element of the piece is the idea that life grows where life is absent. Both in the environment reclaiming its control over man-made structure or to the chain smoking farmer who returned to the radioactive zone to help the domesticated-cum-wild animals survive, at the detriment to himself.

Another strange ecosystem breathes in Fukushima, one of business. From Tim’s bi-lingual guide to the driver of the group, a Lee Marvin-esque photographer named Tony, the Fukushima tragedy brings ire – and also yen.

Unlike the other great city strangled by the hands of nuclear fallout, Chernobyl, Fukushima is awash with activity. But as Tim winds his way into Tomioka, the smashed face of Japan steps into the light.

The documentary is tritely wrapped up by a man who is forbidden to live in the bones of his ruined life but guides us through it, haunting his own memories.

And despite Tim’s vast threat, “That this is what we all face,” it is those who have lost everything, but kept theirs that moves us.

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