Not sure if this qualifies as a dystopian future, but two years ago the city of Fukushima experienced a nuclear disaster in Koya Kamura’s Homesick. Many lost their lives, and what was once home for many of the survivors is now quarantined due to high radiation levels. Everyday Murai scavenges through the ruins in a radiation suit and is followed by a young boy, who I don’t think should really be there.
Soon, the radiation meter on Murai’s suit starts to beep, indicating that he must leave the area for the day. Upon his return to his new home, Murai stops to see an old woman and gives her a picture making her very happy. Look like Murai goes back to the city every day looking for precious items at the request of his neighbors. For his trouble, the old woman gives him a floating lantern for the upcoming memorial for his lost family.
“Everyday Murai scavenges through the ruins in a radiation suit and is followed by a young boy…”
The next day, another neighbor asks if he can take her into the radiation zone, so she can find something meaningful. Murai is reluctant at first but finally agrees. Does he have some feelings for this particular neighbor?
Homesick creates a town in survival mode, and its citizens are in the process of picking up the pieces of their lives. Writer/director Kamura takes this opportunity to tell a touching story about grief, even if some of its elements, i.e., what’s with the young boy living in the radiation zone, is not that original. He creates this disaster-ridden town on a low-budget with a radiation suit made of thin plastic. Big budgets aren’t everything. Homesick is an excellent human drama adding twinges of lo-fi, sci-fi, just for flavor.
Homesick screened at the 2019 Palm Springs Shortsfest and 2019 HollyShorts Film Festival.