Everyday Activist - A New Moon Over Tohoku (CIFF 2016)

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 09:00 PM

A New Moon Over Tohoku (CIFF 2016)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

Even in Alberta 2011 was a tough year. Shortly, after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there was a devastating fire in Slave Lake. I lived in Edmonton at the time and carpooled up to Athabasca with my massage table in tow to offer healing to anyone who wanted it. I had children, fire fighters and displaced people as well as other healers take advantage of the service. While everyone had some form of trauma, I always saw resilience. The same can be said for the Japanese people in Linda’s Ohama’s movie, A New Moon Over Tohoku. Whether it’s through dancing, judo or simply planting flowers, people demonstrated their resilience in the face of total devastation.

Being an overemotional South East Asian, openly expressing everything to everyone, it’s hard to understand the stoicism in Japanese culture. They are like a new moon. The emotions are there, but we can’t always see them until they are ready to be expressed. In many ways this documentary gave them permission to let go and heal those parts that they had hidden for so long. Towards the end of the film, a musician talked about giving free concerts to people in the emergency centers, but in a moment silence everyone in the room took that time to mourn what they had lost and acknowledge their fear of the future while coping with the challenges of the present.

Many photographs were rescued from the wreckage left by the tsunami. If my father hadn’t found an old family photo left over from the war of independence back in 1971 in Bangladesh, I wouldn’t have understood the significance of why these people worked so hard to save photos of those they didn’t know when their attention could have been on so many other things or why the filmmaker bothered showing this labor of love to the audience. I remember the look on my dad’s face when he found out the family photo survived. He was transported to a happier time, before the war inevitably split his family apart. The images in the entire film were carefully chosen and juxtaposed in a way to make us appreciate what it meant for these people to have the courage to start again. Despite nature’s wrath, the people in the film still wanted to live in harmony with it.

I love synchronicities. Libra is the astrological sign representing balance and harmony. Much like the people in the documentary, Libra energy always tends to create beauty with whatever is at hand. As a Libra myself, we’re always better in a group helping to make the world a better place for ourselves and our neighbors. The new moon in Libra, ironically, will be on September 30th at 6:11 pm in Calgary, while A New Moon Over Tohoku screens half an hour later on Friday Sep 30, 6:45 pm at Cineplex Eau Claire 4. It will also screen Saturday Oct 1, 1:45 pm at Globe Upstairs. In Japan, the new moon will be on October 1st.

Calgary Showtimes: 17th Calgary International Film Festival 2016 > | A New Moon Over Tohoku >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.