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Sitting atop four large tectonic plates, Japan is a hotbed of seismic activity, with some 1,500 earthquakes striking the country each year. While many pass without major incident, some prove disastrous, such as the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku, which triggered a catastrophic tsunami and left more than 15,000 people dead. That death toll could look relatively small, however, if the massive earthquake that experts say has a 70 per cent chance of striking Tokyo in the next 30 years ever comes to pass. In The Earth is Humming, the US director Garrett Bradley examines how the ubiquity of earthquakes, and the disquieting threat that they pose, shape Japan’s national psyche. Laced with dark humour, Bradley’s short documentary visits seismologists, disaster prevention centres and survival supply shops, exploring what happens when a culture known for orderliness is faced with a persistent risk that can be mitigated, but never eliminated.
Director: Garrett Bradley
Producer: Lauren Domino
Website: Field of Vision
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