On March 11, 2011, a tsunami struck the coast of Fukushima causing the meltdown of a nearby power plant. Within 24 hours the population within a 20-km radius was ordered to evacuate. Shortly thereafter Toshi Fujiwara entered the so-called "No Man's Zone," interviewing those who either could not or did not want to leave. Haunted by imperceptible traces of radiation, the landscape of Fukushima has been transformed into an atmosphere of silence and disintegration, a land of cherry blossoms and ghosts in white protective clothing.
Chronicling one of the century's worst nuclear disasters through the eyes of those most affected, No Man's Zone is a bold political and ecological testimony. Toshi Fujiwara's third documentary premiered at Berlin, IDFA and Tokyo FilmEX, where it won a Special Mention.
"A thought-provoking and haunting film, director Toshi Fujiwara loads almost every scene with a multitude of questions, either on the surface or simply waiting to spring out on audiences while they take in every detail"
"[N]ot merely the usual disaster sightseeing trip, but a serious questioning of how it was and is being mediated, along with a healthy dose of asides and commentary, interviews with a handful of holdouts living with the zone and scenes of destruction countered with things like blooming cherry trees and flowers. For a film about one of the major disasters that ever hit Japan, it's surprisingly beautiful. What are most powerful of No Man's Land are the images of nature's healing and rebirth, even tainted by the invisible poison left by man. The final, somewhat mundane image of a tree takes on a new meaning in Fujiwara's hands— something akin to hope, leavened with frightful knowledge and the weight of recent history"
"No Man's Zone is a complex reflection on the relationship between images and fears, on being addicted to the apocalypse, on the ravaged relationship between man and nature. For the zone to be decontaminated and returned to the people, nature itself will have to undergo an amputation."