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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Japanese Horror Director Creates Touching 3.11 Tsunami Documentary

Nakata Hideo (surname first), director of the famous 1998 Ringu (The Ring) horror movie has created a documentary on the March 11, 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

While you might think that a man who made his name as the foremost director of horror wouldn’t have any monsters in the closet, he does—he is afraid of dark waters, and he is very much afraid of drowning.

As such, his documentary Living In The Wake of 3.11 is a personal foray into horror, as he looks at the real-life horror faced by those who survived the tsunami.

Just like the three-days previous blogs that provide commentary from the survivors of that day (HERE, HERE, and HERE), his documentary shows the pain and suffering of those living with survivor’s guilt.

Also, as noted in the blogs these past three days, Nakata’s documentary discusses how the tragedy rightly shows that the Japanese are just like anyone else in the time of disaster…. some are heroic, some stoic, and others just plain criminal, such as looting.

One of the people chatting in the documentary is a tombstone engraver named Sasaki Kiyoshi (surname first) who survived the tsunami as water came up to his knees while he was running for his life.

He says it felt strange for him to engrave the date of 3.11 again and again on tombstones of people ranging from one-year-old to 90-years-old, all who had died on the same day.

“I can not help wondering if I was left alive just to engrave that date on the stones.”

Ugh. Now that's survivor's guilt.

While Nagata’s best known films—Ringu and Dark Water—involve vengeful spirits coming back from watery graves to exact revenge on the living, he says that the documentary has helped him see that water is also a source of life, even as it destroys. 

Living In The Wake Of 3.11 is on the big screen in Japan now, with the possibility of an English sub-titled version hitting western screens later in 2018.

Andrew Joseph
PS: If you have never seen Ringu (the actual Japanese version with subtitles or dubs) - watch it while wearing rubber pants. It scared the crap out of me. Brrrrr. 

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