Ashes to Honey is the film of the moment

 

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The Independent Culture

On 11 March, at the precise moment that Japan was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in its history, film-maker Hitomi Kamanaka was in a screening of her documentary Ashes to Honey. The final film in a trilogy about the dangers of nuclear power, Kamanaka's film couldn't have been showing at a more pertinent moment.

"It was the middle of the screening when the earthquake happened," recalls the director. "Twenty to 30 minutes later the TV was showing the tsunami and immediately I started thinking about nuclear power plants. I knew something might happen."

Kamanaka has worked to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear power for more than 10 years, documenting stories from Iraq to Sellafield. Ashes to Honey looks at the 28-year fight by residents of the island of Iwaishima against the construction of a nuclear power plant. It captures a community trying to preserve a way of life carefully entwined with the surrounding environment.

The film will screen in London as part of Zipangu Festival, a celebration of cutting-edge Japanese cinema at the ICA. "We wanted to reflect the debate surrounding the Japanese government's pro-nuclear dogma, while demonstrating that the tradition of activist documentaries still exists", says curator Jasper Sharp.

'Ashes to Honey', ICA, London SW1 (www.ica.org.uk) 20 and 24 November

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