Ian Thomas Ash documentary examines health impact of Fukushima meltdown

by Christopher Johnson —

(UPDATE: Ash won the “Best of Festival” award at the Guam International Film Festival for A2-B-C about parents and children in Japan dealing with fears and health issues amid the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.)

Ian Thomas Ash is daring to examine what many people would like to ignore: the health affects of the Fukushima meltdown.

It’s a story that relates to him personally. US-born Ash has been based in Japan the past decade. He experienced the long shaking in Tokyo during the 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, and then went up to the Tohoku disaster zone with rescue workers. His collaborator Colin O’Neill flew into Japan from the UK. They spent time in Minamisoma, only a half-hour drive from the ongoing triple meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. This resulted in a documentary, In the Grey Zone.

The sequel, A2-B-C, examines the plight of parents and children more than a year after the explosions at reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.

We see mothers joining together to form grass-roots organizations to try to bring attention to their concerns about whether their children are developing thyroid cancer and other ailments. The mothers, dealing with stress, see low white cell counts in blood as well as rashes and nose bleeds. They can’t help wondering if these are symptoms of worse things to come.

It’s a controversial subject in Japan. Whatever your thoughts about nuclear power, it’s a rare chance for people to spend time with families in Fukushima and see how they feel about their situation.

The film won the “Nippon Visions Award” during its world premier in Frankfurt, Germany in June.

Upcoming tour stops this fall include Tokyo (Sept. 14), Florida, Massachusetts, Guam, Holland, Ohio, Taipei, London, Yamagata, Glasgow, California, Ukraine, Poland and New Delhi.

For more info: http://www.a2documentary.com/