The sheer, unrelenting power of a natural disaster, where humans no longer feel in control, and are at the mercy of nature has become a trend in 'end-of-the-world' film making of late. But the real-world, human factor of facing unimaginable adversity in the wake of real natural calamities and even human-made catastrophes is not seen at first view.
The earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, brought the two together in a tsunami whose footage was compared to special effects from a movie and whose ensuing nuclear reactor damages had the world on a Chernobyl-inspired atomic alert.
Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have emboldened anti-nuclear movements around the world. Making the rounds in German cinemas this month is the German documentary production - "Das Ding am Deich", about how the tranquil town of Brokdorf in northen Germany is confronted with the construction of a nuclear power plant. The film is an ode to people's protest and takes a magnified view of the battle the town's inhabitants waged.
Put into operation in 1986 despite massive opposition, the Brokdorf Kernkraftwerk (nucelear reactor) stands in the shadow of the Ukrainian Chernobyl disaster and the left-overs of Fukushima and therefore has reinvigorated the self-dubbed radioactivists.
When producing the real-world films that often depict human suffering (take for example the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami) , where must a film maker draw the line between the unambilavent display of suffering and becoming insensitive? To what extent can these films be used as a tool to empower movements in the face of adversity - both natural and man-made?
View the German trailer of Das Ding am Deich here.
Photo courtesy of: imFilm