Haunting film about Japanese tsunami victim to be screened in TA

The movie, which will be accompanied by live music by Shai Maestro and Mayu Tsukamoto Shviro, will be followed by a conversation between the filmmakers and David Grossman.

 ‘NOWHERE TO GO But Everywhere’ (photo credit: Arieh Rosen, Masako Tsumura)
‘NOWHERE TO GO But Everywhere’
(photo credit: Arieh Rosen, Masako Tsumura)

A haunting short film, Nowhere to go but Everywhere, about a Japanese man still searching for his wife’s remains after she was killed in a tsunami in 2011, will be shown in a special screening at the Jaffa Cinema in Tel Aviv-Yafo on March 11 at 11:30 p.m., to mark the 11th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that took thousands of lives in Japan. The screening is sponsored by the Embassy of Israel in Japan.

The movie, which will be accompanied by live music by Shai Maestro and Mayu Tsukamoto Shviro, will be followed by a conversation between the filmmakers and David Grossman.

Masako Tsumura and Erik Shirai directed this film, which follows Yasuo Takamatsu as he dives to search for any possible remnant of his beloved wife, Yuko. The film is a meditation on grief, and juxtaposes footage of Takamatsu diving with photographs of Yuko and footage of nature, both aboveground and underwater, as he reminisces about his wife – ironically, their first date was at an aquarium – and his regrets about what he did and did not do on the fateful day when the earthquake and tsunami struck. 

There is also footage of traditional Japanese rituals, a quote from Grossman and news clips of the devastating tsunami, set to original music by Maestro and Shviro. It is a unique meditation on grief, loss and the struggle to continue to embrace life following death.

It was produced by Tsumura and Arieh Rosen, who said in a statement: “Our project, Nowhere to go but Everywhere, started very organically during the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown last year, when all the team were stuck at home, feeling very isolated. The embassy initiated a series of projects in the Tohoku region in the run up to the 10 years of the disaster.

DAVID GROSSMAN faces the concept of death in every one of his books.  (credit: OFER YANUV)DAVID GROSSMAN faces the concept of death in every one of his books. (credit: OFER YANUV)

We reached out to the Israeli music composer and jazz pianist, Shai Maestro, proposing to create a special cultural project on the occasion. Then he suggested we collaborate with a directors’ duo, Masako and Erik. Since Shai knew Erik and Masako had been working on a feature narrative film, Umi, about the disaster, for the last couple of years, we were all excited about the chance of creating something meaningful together.

Furthermore, we shared the info that Israel was one of the first countries to come to Japan for emergency relief, and so the artistic team felt collaborating with Israeli artists for the project would be very significant for them. Masako and Eric proposed creating a short artistic documentary film about Yasuo Takamatsu from Onagawa, Miyagi, because their narrative film, Umi, is based on his real life.

We learned Takamatsu was still diving in search of his wife every week even during COVID-19. It inspired us and made us think that his story would give a sense of hope during these difficult times. The Israeli Embassy felt compelled by Takamatsu’s story and granted the team the opportunity to make this film.

The embassy wanted to incorporate the beautiful work of David Grossman, since Grossman’s personal experience of grief of losing his son resonated with Takamatsu’s story. We asked the renowned author and he agreed to let us use a quote from his book, Falling Out of Time.

The music for the film was composed by Shai Maestro, who successfully recruited Japanese-Israeli cellist Mayu Shviro to perform along with him. We believe the music beautifully complemented the lyrical film.”

For tickets, visit: [email protected]