The Best Films of Summer 2012: 'The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom'

Rebirth in the aftermath of the Tohoku quake

May 9, 2012
Outside Magazine

   Photo: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Fast death and slow rebirth are the themes of director Lucy Walker’s (Blindsight, Waste Land) 40-minute Oscar-nominated documentary celebrating the survivors of the 2011 Japan tsunami and their love of the delicate cherry tree. There are many platitudes here—“They are the underdogs, tiny and short-lived, but they give us strength,” says one blossom lover—but none of the statements feel overwrought or unearned. And the reason for that is the devastating four minutes of violence that starts the film, a section of documentary footage that puts the most blown-out Michael Bay sequence to shame. On HBO: late summer

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