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3 items from 2012

The Land of Hope | Tiff 2012 Review

17 September 2012 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The Japan Syndrome: Sono Puts Human Face to Tsunami Tragedy

The prolific and insanely busy Sion Sono returns with another tale centered on the aftermath of Japan’s devastating tsunami, The Land of Hope. While his last film, Himizu focused on two teenagers eking out a dystopic existence in their post-tsunami world, this latest is based on a family’s true story of survival in the aftermath of the nuclear reactor explosion. At times a tad overly sentimental, especially in the context of Sono’s own dark and challenging oeuvre, this is a mostly winning experience, perhaps best as a document of the ravaged landscape that still has yet to be revitalized even a year later, when this was filmed.

Sono gives us a fictional location, the Nagashima prefecture, a small town butted up against a nuclear power plant. Yoichi Ono (Jun Murakami) and his wife Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka) lead »

- Nicholas Bell

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Teaser for Shion Sono's "The Land of Hope"

11 May 2012 11:39 AM, PDT | Nippon Cinema | See recent Nippon Cinema news »

A 30-second teaser for Shion Sono’s upcoming film The Land of Hope has been uploaded to the official YouTube channel of its distributor, Bitters End.

It’s set in the Japanese countryside and revolves around a couple, Yoichi (Jun Murakami) and Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka), who are living in a village as humble dairy farmers with Yoichi’s parents Yasuhiko (Isao Natsuyagi) and Chieko (Naoko Otani).

One day, a huge earthquake strikes and an evacuation begins, but Yoichi is hesitant to leave their lifetime home behind. When he discovers his wife is pregnant, he must do whatever it takes to protect her and their unborn child. Meanwhile, their neighbors (Yutaka Shimizu, Hikari Kajiwara, Denden, and Mariko Tsutsui). have to make their own choice about evacuation.

“The Land of Hope” is scheduled for an autumn release in Japan. A quick UK release is also likely due to Third Window Films being one of the co-producers. »

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More cast members revealed for Shion Sono’s “The Land of Hope”

4 April 2012 2:11 PM, PDT | Nippon Cinema | See recent Nippon Cinema news »

Last year, director Shion Sono chose to film his live-action adaptation of Himizu in an area devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, incorporating the effects of disaster into the story. With his next film, The Land of Hope, he’s going a step further by making a human drama about a family living within the evacuation radius of a damaged nuclear power plant during the disaster.

It was previously known that the story would focus on three primary couples played by Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka, Yutaka Shimizu, and Hikari Kajiwara—with Denden playing someone with important ties to the main family. Today it was revealed that Daikichi Sugawara, Takashi Yamanaka, and Kenzo Kawarazaki would also star.

Additionally, the film will boast a fairly large cast of established actors in smaller supporting roles including Yusuke Iseya, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Fusako Urabe, Gitan Ohtsuru, Satoshi Matsuo, Shiro Namiki, »

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