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The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom 2011
Description: On 11 March 2011, an earthquake caused a tsunami to hit the Tōhoku (Northeast) region of Japan. In this film, survivors of the tsunami rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. The movie is a stunning visual haiku about the ephemeral nature of life–and of the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower.
Released: 20 Jan 2012 Director: Lucy Walker Writers: N/A Actors: N/A Genres: Documentary, Short
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The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Reviews:

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011)*** 1/2 (out of 4)Extremely well-made and sensitive look at a group of survivors of the March 11, 2011 tsunami that hit Japan. This documentary hears their stories of survival during the first half of the movie and then the second half turns to the people's belief in the cherry blossom and what it meant to them after such a tragedy. The begin of this film includes some of the most dramatic footage you're going to see in a documentary or anything that Hollywood should create. The movie begins as a group of folks are on a hill looking over their city when they see the high tides starting to come in. The next couple mins are just downright shocking in their destruction because from this one vantage mission we see the whole city destroyed in the matter of seconds. This footage is just so shocking and heartbreaking because this isn't a Hollywood disaster film but instead it's something real. There's even footage of folks in the hit zone trying to race for the hill with the water quickly working towards them. This footage here is just so heartbreaking and then we see that same spot a month after the disaster. This is a cute difficult topics to do a documentary on but director Lucy Walker does a terrific job at saying these sad stories and then giving the movie a more uplifting beat as we hear the history of the cherry blossom and why they mean so much to the people. This is certainly one of the better documentaries out there and at 40-minutes it runs a very fast pace and really delivers all sorts of emotions.


There is everytime something searing about raw footages from natural disasters. It is everytime the survivors and/or those who just happened to witness it are the ones recording the very nature of what happens when Mother Nature destructs. We are the only the bystanders shocked at what we see from the news, they are the ones who first saw it up close.Or in this case, the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan, and the local residents recording raw footages from afar, but still able to witness the impending destruction of their hometown. It really hits home for them when they realised they are now about to witness their hometown being destroyed by the impending tsunami, from the raw footages with the locals speaking of their reactions which opened this documentary as produced by Kira Carstensen and directed by documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker.The documentary complements with locals speaking how the tsunami affects them, along with ordinary Japanese young and old on what the cherry blossom means to them. Spring time is usually a time of admiring cherry blossoms in Japan, but that particular year's cherry blossom season has an added tinge of poignancy with the cameras in one stage showing a sign in a Tokyo park reminding residents of observing sensitivity to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.While one cannot support but be amazed at how ordinary Japanese view the cherry blossom and what it tells of the Japanese psyche in especially during those times, it is especially those hardest hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that their stories really hits you. It really stood out for me personally on how the cameras would pan the photos of photographs, in the midst of what the destruction had left behind – the human cost. Photographs of a couple getting married, of two school friends…whether the owners to those photographs are alive, nobody knows.We are often being said how Mother Nature can be destructive when she wants to be, but in such moments we may have forgotten the beauty of what she has left behind in this globe as well, as depicted by the ordinary Japanese who spoke on the documentary reflecting on the cherry blossom season with the added tinge of the nature of destruction Mother Nature had left behind back in March 2011.


"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" is an American documentary and the second work by writer and director Lucy Walker. Despite the title, this one is exclusively in the Japanese language, so you may wish to receive a nice set of subtitles unless you speak that one. It runs for 39 minutes, but there is an extended ver that i watched and this one runs for over 50 minutes. There is basically a clean slash in this movie just like there is in the title. A bit over the first half is about the horrible tsunami that killed thousands of folks and killed even more people's hopes, while the second half focuses on the beauty and meaning of cherry blossoms. Obviously the latter is seen as some type of symbol for hope and revival after the tragic happenings and I gotta tell this type of metaphor really only works partially. Of course you could not expect this movie to seek for solutions and methods to hold happenings like this from event in the future, but it's really more about the easy folks and their method back to some type of happiness that obviously does not contain scientific studies at all. So yeah, it is an okay documentary that contains some touching interviews early on, but despite the pretty looks of the blossoms, the film gets considerably weaker in the second half and almost feels a bit pretentious. Still overall, I give it a thumbs-up, but I guess the Oscar nomination (losing to "Saving Face") may have been a bit too much.



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