• "La Terre abandonnée" by Gilles Laurent

"La Terre abandonnée" wins awards at the Jean Rouch Festival 18/12/2017

The documentary La Terre abandonnée, by Gilles Laurent, won two awards during the latest edition of the Jean Rouch Festival, which closed at the beginning of December.

La Terre abandonnée, created by Gilles Laurent and produced by the Centre Vidéo Brussels (CVB), competed in an International Competition and received two awards: a Special Mention from the Jury and a Library Images Selection.

The village of Tomioka, in the evacuated area around the Fukushima nuclear plant, is still empty of its fifteen thousand inhabitants, five years after the catastrophe. A few rare individuals still live on this radiation-scorched land. The Hangaï family decided to continue farming their land. The Sato family are slowly reinvesting in their house and aim to move back in soon, convinced that repopulating is possible. Matsumura san, with his old father, takes care of animals abandoned in the days following the nuclear accident. He was the first to have refused the order to evacuate. In his way, by making his life a symbol, he testifies and is an activist for a nuclear-free world. Whereas the ‘decontamination’ work organised by the Japanese government seems pathetic and useless faced with the scale of both human and ecological disaster, the apparently unwise but peaceful existence of these diehards reminds us that, at the end of the day, a plot of land is our safest link in the world.

Trained in sound techniques at the INSAS (Brussels), Gilles Laurent was a sound engineer for more than 20 years. He has worked with, among others, Carlos Reygadas (Japan, Post tenebras lux, etc.), Diego Martinez Vignatti (La Marea, La Cantate de Tango, etc.), Kamal Aljafari (Port of Memory), Marjane Satrapi (Poulet aux prunes), Wang Bing (Le fossé), Stéphanie Valloatto (Caricaturistes, fantassins de la démocratie), Abel & Gordon (Rumba), Clémence Hébert (Le bateau du père), and Nathalie Borgers (Bons baisers de la colonie). Gilles Laurent was born in Belgium in 1969 and died in the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016. He was finishing the editing for La Terre abandonnée.

The 36th edition of the Jean Rouch International Festival was held from 8 November to 3 December.

Follow the latest news on Wallonia-Brussels cinema on the Wallonie-Bruxelles Images website.

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