The Land of Hope

Dir.: Sion Sono | Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan 2012 | 133 min

In 'Land of Hope', the new film by Sion Sono ('Cold Fish', 'Himizu'), the fictional town of Nagashima becomes isolated after the dramatic nuclear spill at Fukushima. You don't need much of an imagination to see that the town's name is put together from three cities: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima, and Sono thereby quickly makes it clear that he thinks that the nuclear leak should be understood historically in line with the nuclear bombs. Quite a statement from the old punk poet, Sion Sono, who has never been afraid of tackling taboo subjects in his films. After the spill, the city is divided down the middle by a high fence: radioactive on one side, safe on the other. Comic, maybe, but these are the kinds of absurdities by the authorities that the inhabitants of Nigashima have to get used to. Soon, they will be completely isolated and only have themselves and each other left. The style is realistic and unsentimental, with glimpses of poetry, and on the whole this is an exemplarily subdued disaster film by the often so feisty Sion Sono.

Original Title
Kibou no kuni
Title
The Land of Hope
Country
Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan
Release Year
2012
Duration
133 min.
Directors
Sion Sono
Producer
Yuko Shiomaki, Yuji Sadai, Mizue Kunizane
Script
Cast
Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Megumi Kagurazaka, Jun Murakami, Hikari Kajiwara, Yutaka Shimizu
Camera
Shigenori MIki
Sound
Hajime Komiya
Editor
Jyunichi Ito
Music
Sion Sono
Production Company
Dongyu Club, Bitters End, Pictures Dept.
Version
Dialogue: Japanese English Subtitles
Tempo
4
Thrills
3
Sighs
5
Laughs
4
Look
7
Food for thought
5