Int'l water film festival to be held Sept. 1 in Tokyo
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- An international film festival will be held on Sept. 1 in Tokyo focusing on how to secure water resources around the world, at a time when Japan is facing the pollution of water by radioactive materials released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Five films will be presented at the International Water Film Festival 2012, including "Even the Rain," a social drama produced jointly by Spain, France and Mexico that depicts how people in Bolivia, where overseas companies exercise a monopoly on water supply in part of the country, have suffered as a result of a drastic water rate hike.
Another work is a documentary film showing a doctor's half-century struggle to treat Minamata disease, caused by mercury contamination in the sea and rivers. The doctor, Masazumi Harada, continued to visit sufferers of the disease and support their efforts to seek redress until his death in June at the age of 77.
It was created by a local broadcaster in Kumamoto Prefecture, where the city of Minamata is located.
"Damage caused by contaminated waste water in Minamata still continues, and we now face more water contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear crisis," said Shoko Uchida, secretary general of the Pacific Asia Resource Center, a nonprofit organization sponsoring the event with other groups. "This film festival will provide the viewers with an opportunity to think about how we should tackle the mistakes we have made while pursuing economic and industrial growth."
Following its screening, a symposium will be held to discuss how to minimize the damage from Minamata and Fukushima, with a doctor involved in examinations of Minamata disease sufferers taking part as one of the panelists.
The other three films to be presented during the event at the United Nations University in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward are from India, Indonesia and the United States.
The U.S. film, "CRUDE," is about health damage suffered by indigenous people in Ecuador as a result of waste dumped in the ground in the process of drilling for crude oil. The harmful materials contaminated river and ground water, causing disabilities in babies and cancers among those who eat fish caught in the river and drink its water.
The upcoming event is the second of its kind, following the first international water film festival last December.
Uchida said, "People around the world are scrambling for limited water resources, with some commercializing it and others personally exploiting it. Given such circumstances as well as the Minamata and Fukushima tragedies, we have to pay more attention to issues related to water."
The festival will start at 10 a.m. Advance tickets cost 2,000 yen but are free for those of high school age and below. Day-of-performance tickets are 2,500 yen, while those aged 25 years or younger have to pay 2,000 yen.
August 03, 2012(Mainichi Japan)