Event — Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Environmental Film Festival: “The Whispering Star”

Where: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

14th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

Details: Inspired by the ruined landscape of Fukushima, Japanese auteur Sion Sono (Love Exposure; Tokyo Tribe) created this eccentric science fiction parable about humanity’s destructive effect on the environment. Megumi Kagurazaka plays Yoko, a humanoid interstellar delivery robot who runs on AA batteries and travels from planet to planet in a spaceship that looks like a Japanese bungalow. During her journey, she becomes curious about the packages she carries—especially the ones bound for Earth, where humans have become an endangered species.

The fact that the planet’s landscapes “were shot in evacuated zones of Fukushima, primarily with non-professional actors living in the area affected by the nuclear disaster, makes the film’s themes of memory and decay that much more haunting. But The Whispering Star’s touch remains playful, funny, and very human,” wrote Giovanna Fulvi of the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere. (Dir.: Sion Sono, Japan, 2015, 100 min., B&W, DCP, Japanese with English subtitles)

Cost: Free

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