Bijou screening commemorates tsunami anniversary
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The Bijou Cinema, the University of Iowa's student-operated independent movie house in the Iowa Memorial Union, will show the film The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 27. Admission to the film and subsequent discussion is free; the public is welcome.
The film captures stunning scenes of the tsunami as well as interviews from survivors in the areas of Japan hit hardest by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. The film illustrates how, after the tsunami, survivors must find the courage to revive and rebuild as the cherry blossom season begins. The film is described as "a visual poem" about the creation and destruction that exists in nature and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower.
“It has been a little over a year since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” says Yume Hidaka, Japan outreach initiative coordinator for UI International Programs. “I believe this event will be a reminder to the Iowa City community of the damage that Japan sustained and demonstrate how resilient people have been.”
Hidaka adds that this film will educate viewers about the Japanese sakura (cherry blossom) culture.
The film, directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker, won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Check out the trailer below:
Those attending are invited to stay after the film for a Q&A session with Levi McLaughlin, a UI postdoctoral research scholar in Japanese studies, who will discuss ongoing relief efforts in Japan.
Additionally, Hidaka will discuss how the city of Des Moines has been selected to receive 20 cherry blossom trees as a gift from Japan in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first gift of cherry blossoms trees (those trees were given to Washington, D.C.). Hidaka is working with the Iowa Sister State Program, and there will be a special ceremony May 12.
The event is sponsored by REACT to FILM and co-sponsored by Bijou Cinema, the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies in International Programs, the Japanese Scholars and Students Club, and the UI Organization for Active Support of International Students (OASIS).