“Abita”, an animated short film about Fukushima children who can't play outside because of the radiation risk, delicately illustrates their dreams and realities. The film, produced by Shoko Hara and Paul Brenner, won the award for Best Animated Film at the International Uranium Film Festival in 2013.
Shoko Hara, a student in Germany who was born in Okayama in the western part of Japan, wrote about the metaphor she used in the film.
We used Japanese symbolism in our film. The Dragonfly represents the Japanese island, because of its form. It also symbolizes hope, perspective, dream, energy in Japan and it unites all the natural elements like water, earth and air. These were destroyed with the Fukushima disaster, they don't have any perspectives for their future. Furthermore dragonflies in japan are carriers of fertility. The Dragonfly represents the inner world of the child, that it wants to be free in the nature, but it can't. Dragonfly is a popular symbol in japan and we often use it in arts, poems and in literature.
Despite scarce media coverage in Japan, the film has been shared widely on social media.
Radiation remains a serious problem for residents in the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant since the plant suffered a meltdown following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.