Nuclear Nation Image
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69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: March 11, 2011: A huge tsunami triggered by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hits Japan, crippling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, releasing radiation, and turning the residents of Futaba into nuclear refugees. The devastation experienced by the town was infinitely worse than anything reported by the newspapers. A year later, many refugees are still unable to return to contaminated homes. The irony of this disaster occurring in a nation that experienced two nuclear bombs is not lost on the victims who poignantly question their responsibility for striking a Faustian bargain with nuclear power. Nuclear Nation examines a tragedy in miniature, but also suggests that it could one day be replicated on a grand scale—perhaps in your own backyard. [First Run Features] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Dec 13, 2013
    88
    Nuclear Nation is likely to attract those who already oppose such power plants. But supporters should see it, too, if only to hear the opposition’s arguments. The film raises issues that aren’t going away.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 10, 2013
    80
    As presented here (cut down from a longer edit), the film might have benefitted from more technical context related to the plant’s failure — this is a cautionary tale worth heeding. But the voices are valuable enough.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Dec 11, 2013
    75
    Tangents involving government committees and the nuclear energy lobby only serve to scatter the already-diffuse narrative, as do numerous intertitles relaying facts about nuclear power in Japan or indicating the passage of seasons; they seem like leftovers from a longer film.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Dec 10, 2013
    70
    Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the grim realities of his story, director Funahashi captures both grief and outrage in equal measure.
  5. Reviewed by: Joyce Kulhawik
    Dec 13, 2013
    63
    Unfortunately, Nuclear Nation is slow going, and given the uniqueness of the documentation and the importance of its message, it deserves to be more compelling than it is.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Dec 10, 2013
    60
    This modest film observes evacuees from Futaba, a small town near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, making do in their temporary shelter. Partly because this version of the movie was drastically edited to 96 minutes from 145, it feels sketchy and disjointed.
  7. Reviewed by: Noah Berlatsky
    Dec 12, 2013
    60
    Despite its limitations, Nuclear Nation remains a quiet, painful reminder that disasters aren’t disasters because of the sound and excitement, but because of the blank spaces they leave in people’s lives.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of