Quantcast

Documentary Spotlight: The Horses of Fukushima

Energy

One of my favorite events of the year is almost here—the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) from March 19 to March 30 at Tower City Cinemas.

There are eight eco-films this year, in CIFF’s It’s Easy Being Green sidebar sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Company, bringing awareness and support to the environmental movement working to save our planet.

 I’ll feature one film per day. Today, The Horses of Fukushima. Yesterday, Farmland. Monday, Antarctica: A Year on Ice.

CIFF’s Brenda Benthien provided this synopsis of the film:

Fukushima, Japan has a thousand-year-old tradition of horsemanship. The Soma Nomaoi Festival is a pageant of armor, banners, and formidable equestrian skills. But modern technology brings with it modern disasters, and in March 2011 a massive tsunami caused the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to release substantial amounts of radiation. Less than 20 km away, 40 horses miraculously survived the tsunami. But when the government commanded people to evacuate the disaster zone, many of the horses were left behind to starve. Shinichiro Tanaka is one stubborn rancher who returns, but refuses to slaughter his irradiated livestock as ordered. Though it’s common practice to buy old racehorses, fatten them, and sell them for meat, these remaining horses are inedible. Thus they are transported to rural Hokkaido where they temporarily enjoy some equine freedom. Nature takes its course, and the festival looms. Are the horses ready to be ridden again? The Horses of Fukushima s a stunning documentary that tells the story of what Japanese society lost by buying into nuclear power through the fate of these resilient animals. Note: Some scenes contain graphic animal imagery. (In Japanese with subtitles)

Visit EcoWatch’s NUCLEAR page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sled dog teams pull researchers from the Danish Meteorological Institute through meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet in early June, 2019. Danish Meteorological Institute / Steffen M. Olsen

By Jon Queally

In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.

Read More Show Less
CAFOs often store animal waste in massive, open-air lagoons, like this one at Vanguard Farms in Chocowinity, North Carolina. Bacteria feeding on the animal waste turns the mixture a bright pink. picstever / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tia Schwab

It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Members of the NY Renews coalition gathered before New York lawmakers reached a deal on the Climate and Communities Protection Act. NYRenews / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.

Read More Show Less
In this picture taken on June 4, an Indian boatman walks amid boats on the dried bed of a lake at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, on the eve of World Environment Day. Sam Panthaky / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.

Read More Show Less
A man carries a poster in New York City during the second annual nationwide March For Science on April 14, 2018. Kena Betancur / Getty Images

By Will J. Grant

In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.

People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uranium, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Ragú Old World Style Traditional is one of three flavors named in a voluntary recall. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Spaghetti with plastic sauce? That's what you might be eating if you pour one of three flavors of Ragú sauce over your pasta.

Mizkan America, the food company that owns Ragú, announced Saturday that it was voluntarily recalling some Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, Old World Style Traditional and Old World Style Meat sauces because they might be contaminated with plastic fragments, The Today Show reported.

Read More Show Less
A butterfly in the National Butterfly Center, a private sanctuary for butterflies in southern Texas, on Jan. 22. Maren Hennemuth / picture alliance / Getty Images

While Trump's border wall has yet to be completed, the threat it poses to pollinators is already felt, according to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, as reported by Transmission & Distribution World.

Read More Show Less