[07/05/12 - 09:32 AM]
Oscar(R) Nominee "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" Captures a Nation's Resilience in the Wake of Tragedy When it Debuts July 16, Exclusively on HBO
The film debuts immediately after the debut of the SXSW Film Festival hit "Birders: The Central Park Effect."

[via press release from HBO]


On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, leaving 15,372 people confirmed dead and 7,762 reported still missing. In the wake of the largest earthquake in the country's history, some people drew the courage to revive and rebuild from cherry-blossom season, which began within weeks of the tragedy.

Oscar(R)-nominated this year for Best Documentary Short Subject, THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM shows how nature can be a rejuvenating - as well as a destructive - force when it debuts MONDAY, JULY 16 (10:00-10:40 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Directed by Lucy Walker (the Oscar(R)-nominated documentary feature "Waste Land"), this poignant film debuts immediately after the debut of the SXSW Film Festival hit "Birders: The Central Park Effect," which offers a different look at how nature touches people.

Other HBO playdates: July 18 (12:15 p.m.), 24 (4:15 p.m.) and 28 (6:00 a.m., 3:15p.m.)

HBO2 playdate: July 18 (9:00 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting provocative new specials every Monday through July 30. Other July films include: "Hard Times: Lost on Long Island" (July 9); "Birders: The Central Park Effect" (July 16); "Vito" (July 23); and "About Face: Supermodels Then and Now" (July 30).

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM is a stunningvisual poem about the ephemeral nature of life, and the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower. The nation is transfixed by cherry blossom season, which runs from late March through April, with many people tracking the blossoms' short lifecycle and attending "hanami," or viewing parties, with family and friends.

Walker had originally planned to visit Japan to make a film about cherry-blossom season, but on March 11, 2011, while she was making final preparations for her trip, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, triggering tsunami waves of up to 133 feet on Japan's northeastern coast. Initially unsure whether to continue, she flew to Tokyo with a small film crew and headed north to the Tohuku region, where she captured both the utter devastation and stoic resolve of survivors, many of whom had lost family members and friends.

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM opens with harrowing home-video footage, shot from a hill, of a huge wave destroying the town below. A month later, a young woman stands on the same hill, remembering how she "watch[ed] people being consumed by the tsunami." An older man tells how he tried and failed to save his oldest friend, proclaiming, "I don't want a house. I don't want clothes. I don't want anything. I just want his life back."

Others tell their stories of survival, escaping in their slippers and seeing whole houses rush toward them on a wave of black water. One couple living at a community center returns to the ruins of their house, hoping to rebuild. Their town is within the 30km exclusion zone around the Fukushima power plant, and many people wear cotton masks as protection from radiation.

Amidst the despair in the days following the tsunami comes a glimmer of hope in "sakura" (cherry blossom), a harbinger of spring in Japan and a national symbol of renewal. One man explains how the cherry blossom reflects the Japanese character, saying, "Each flower is tiny, and you can't see one individually. But it's beautiful when you see lots of flowers together. Japanese people see themselves that way too."

Out of respect for the victims, many viewing parties were cancelled this year, but people still visit the blossoms and take pictures. A man who lost his house shows where new plant shoots have sprouted on the beach, commenting that if plants can hang in there, humans can too. A young woman looking at the cleanup and construction adds, "Every year that the trees bloom, they'll give us the courage to keep going."

In addition to its Oscar(R) nomination, THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM received the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival and BFI London.

For more information on the documentary, please visit: Facebook: facebook.com/hbodocs; and Twitter: @HBODocs #tsunamiblossom.

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM was directed by Lucy Walker; executive producers, Tim Case and Charles V. Salice; producers, Kira Carstensen and Lucy Walker; director of photography, Aaron Phillips; editor, Aki Mizutani; music by Moby.

  [july 2012]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[10/21/16 - 02:02 PM]
NLCS Game 5 Is Second Most-Watched Telecast in FS1 History
FOX Sports spins the numbers for Thursday, October 20.

[10/21/16 - 12:08 PM]
Freeform Brings Fan Favorite "Stitchers" and New Original Sci-Fi Series "Beyond" to Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con on October 29 and 30
"Stitchers" co-stars Ritesh Rajan, Damon Dayoub and Sarah Davenport are among those scheduled to appear.

[10/21/16 - 10:05 AM]
Freeform's Annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" Starts on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24
Said offerings include the premiere "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," "Boxtrolls," and the network premiere of the fourth installment of the hit "Cinderella Story" franchise, "A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits."

[10/21/16 - 10:04 AM]
Freeform's Funday Programming Event Begins November 12 and Continues Through November 13
Highlights include the network premieres of "Planes: Fire & Rescue," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Shrek Forever After."

[10/21/16 - 10:03 AM]
"Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour" to Premiere on Showtime(R) on December 9 at 9 PM ET/PT
The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies.

[10/21/16 - 09:55 AM]
David Blaine Is Back With an Extraordinary Special, "David Blaine: Beyond Magic," Airing Tuesday, November 15, on ABC
Following his critically acclaimed ratings smash "David Blaine: Real or Magic," Blaine returns with his most revealing performance yet.

[10/21/16 - 09:35 AM]
Video: Netflix's "Haters Back Off!" Star Miranda Sings Shares Some of Her Favorite Things
Based on the character created by Colleen Ballinger, "Haters Back Off!" delves into the oddball family life of Miranda Sings.

[10/21/16 - 09:31 AM]
Video: Netflix Unveils The Ivory Game Trailer and Poster
From executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, The Ivory Game is an epic documentary feature that goes undercover into the dark and sinister underbelly of ivory trafficking.

[10/21/16 - 09:29 AM]
Premiere Date Change - A&E Network Will Now Air Original Docu-Series "The Killing Season" on November 12
The newcomer will now roll out with back-to-back episodes one week later than previously announced.

[10/21/16 - 09:24 AM]
No One Can Hear You Scream: Investigation Discovery's All-New Series "Dead Silent" Premieres Tuesday, October 25 at 9/8C
In the six-part series, myth, urban legend, and horror movie dread collide to showcase real-life, dark and twisted tales too frightening to be imaginary.

[10/21/16 - 09:02 AM]
Oxygen Media Strikes Again with New True Crime Series "Killision Course" Premiering Saturday, November 5th at 9PM ET/PT
The four-episode, genre breaking series, recreates true stories of murder connecting the victim, accomplice and killer, on a joy ride of suspense, betrayal and obsession.

[10/21/16 - 08:47 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Holds Off Competition with NFL
The Eye wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/20/16 - 03:55 PM]
Oxygen Media Tests the Bonds of Friendship When New Competition Series "The Battle of the Ex-Besties" Premieres Tuesday, December 6 at 11PM ET/PT
Hosted by Sibley Scoles, the series follows fourteen former BFFs who are forced to confront - and hopefully forget - past differences in order to win a life-changing $100,000 grand prize.

[10/20/16 - 01:49 PM]
Investigation Discovery Delivers Nearly One Million Viewers for World Television Premiere of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"
Investigation Discovery further spins the numbers for Saturday, October 15.

[10/20/16 - 01:04 PM]
Investigation Discovery Looks at When Happily Ever After Goes Horribly Wrong in All-New Series "Married with Secrets"
The new eight-part series premieres Tuesday, October 25 at 10:00/9:00c.