February 3, 2014

Abita is a haunting animated short that portrays the impact of the Fukushima tragedy on the children in the region.

Abita from Shoko Hara on Vimeo.

This film, which has such a clean and simple visual style, grows more haunting with repeated viewings. The sound design is particularly beautiful.

The filmmakers chose the dragonfly because it is symbolic of the island of Japan. They write, in answer to a viewer’s question about the symbolism, that the dragonfly “…symbolizes hope, perspective, dream, energy in Japan and it unites all the natural elements like water, earth and air….The Dragonfly represents the innerworld of the child, that it wants to be free in nature, but it can’t.”

Abita is a Graduate Thesis film by Shoko Hara and Paul Brenner.

New readers may be unaware of an incident in the Fall when “activists” (read: profiteers and hucksters) set their sights on my blog. Promoting fish farming in the Great Lakes with hysterical propaganda about the dangers of eating fish caught by indigenous commercial fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, making false or unverified health claims in an effort to sell affluent California parents anti-radiation pills for their children, and propagating a reframing of the nuclear disaster as an insidious plot to poison America topped the trolling topics hit parade.

In all of that noise, the plight of the vulnerable populations closest to the disaster are easily forgotten.

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