Listening to the Air

(Sora ni kiku)

- JAPAN / 2018 / Japanese / Color / Digital File / 73 min

Director: Komori Haruka
Photography, Editing: Komori Haruka, Fukuhara Yusuke
Sound: Fukuhara Yusuke
Presented by: Aichi Arts Center
Produced by: Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art
Source: Komori Haruka

About a radio personality at Rikuzentakata Disaster FM after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The film provides an intimate daily depiction of her as she brings the voices of those living in areas afflicted by the disaster to the radio, tapping into their thoughts and memories. The camera also paints a portrait of the difficult road to recovery for a town largely swept away by the tsunami, and the construction of a new one on earthen mounds raised on its remains.

[Director’s Statement] The title uses a Japanese word that can refer to both sky and air. First it recalls those whose lives were sacrificed to the tsunami; I saw the film’s central figure, Abe Hiromi, as though attuning her ears to the sky through the medium of radio, in order to hear their voices. The second indicates the air of the townspeople’s imaginations, on which they draw their hopes for the future, as they talk on the radio about their vanished town. My hope is that viewers grasp these two ideas in their minds, even though the camera is unable to show them on the screen.

Komori Haruka

Born in 1989 in Shizuoka Prefecture, and currently residing in Miyagi Prefecture. She has a graduate degree in Intermedia Arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts, and she completed the elementary fiction course at the Film School of Tokyo. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, she went to northeast Japan as a volunteer, leading to a collaboration with artist and writer Seo Natsumi. In 2012, she moved to Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, and has since continued to document people’s lives, stories, and the changing landscape there. Komori’s other works include Trace of Breath (2015, YIDFF 2015).