On November 19th 2013, independent documentary filmmaker Ian Ash visited ASIJ for a screening of his award-winning documentary, A2-B-C, which follows the health impacts that many children in Fukushima are already experiencing in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The film provides a unique and valuable platform for families from Fukushima to tell their stories to an international audience.
Before the screening, Mr. Ash joined Japan Seminar students to talk about his experiences as a filmmaker, particularly in documenting various faces of Japan post-3/11. Mr. Ash’s visit and the screening was very timely for the Japan Seminar class, as many of these students will be going on the Tohoku study tour JUMP trip and meet some people in Fukushima City who appear in the film.
The screening was followed by a lively Q&A session with Mr. Ash. Three mothers of children in ASIJ’s English Circle project, who have evacuated from Fukushima and are living in Tokyo, expressed their gratitude for the film and the important messages and voices it captured. Many other audience members asked questions that revealed their newfound desire to know more, and to understand the issues brought up in the film more deeply—and this is exactly what Mr. Ash claims to have been his goal in making the film.
With an unshakeable love for Japan and its culture, Mr. Ash, who is originally from the US, has called Japan home for over ten years. Being the extremely humble and gracious filmmaker that he is, Mr. Ash never expected his film to take off like it did, but A2-B-C has quickly gained international attention; it has already been screened at over 15 film festivals around the world, and has won various awards. (Elicia Cousins, Writing Lab Intern)