Italy, 2015 Directed by Matteo Gagliardi Written by Christine Reinhold, Matteo Gagliardi and Pio d’Emilia


A four-year long journey in the twofold tragedy that befell Japan in March 2011, when the Sendai earhquake, with a magnitude of 9,0 and its epicenter in the sea,  and the ensuing tsunami, hit the north of the country off the shores of the Tōhoku region. The earthquake and the tsunami were also the cause of the Fukushima nuclear accident, the worst documented since Chernobyl.

“Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” is the result of three years of research, a documentary film combining the story of a journalist who refused to abandon his job even when the nuclear danger was at its greatest and the search for the truth regarding what really happened inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Pio d’Emilia, the Italian Sky reporter who has lived in Japan for more than thirty years, is in Tokyo the day of the earthquake and decides to leave immediately to reach the area affected by the tsunami: he will be the first foreign journalist to be able to enter the  “no go zone” – the 20 km area surrounding the nuclear plant evacuated by the government – and to reach the gates to the plant’s main entrance without however being able to enter.

It was not until June 2013 that the directors at Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operated the Fukushima nuclear plant) allowed a group of foreign journalists, including  Pio d’Emilia, to access Fukushima Daiichi.

“Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” offers a completely original point of view on the tragedy, narrated by Willem Dafoe in the English version and described using Manga Drawings, to make it more comprehensible to our perception.

“Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” was distributed in more than 20 countries and in 2016 was awarded the DIG  Award in the long reportage section, ex aequo with #MyEscape by Elke Sasse.


Production: A World With a View

Duration: 84 min (director’s cut) – 56 min (TV hour)

Director: Matteo Gagliardi

Screenplay: Christine Reinhold, Matteo Gagliardi, Pio d’Emilia

Loosely based on the book: “Tsunami Nucleare” by Pio d’Emilia

Narrated by: Massimo Dapporto (Italian) and Willem Dafoe (English)

Executive Producers: Christine Reinhold, René Bourdages

Editing & Post-Production Supervisor: Matteo Gagliardi

Editing Assistant: Christine Reinhold

Manga Artwork: Ilaria Gelli, Nicola Ronci (European Academy of Manga)

Camera Operators: Guillaume Bression, Pio d’Emilia

Director of Photography: Guillaume Bression

With the contribution of Sky for journalistic material

“The testimony of the first foreign journalist to arrive on the site of the accident unearths the truth about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. An exceptional movie``

Naoto Kan (Japan ex premier)

Director’s Note

The feeling of not having said enough, with my participation in “Fukushame: The Lost Japan,” has driven me to add a more mature, complete and above all more profound chapter on Fukushima’s painful story. It has taken me two years of work and research to find my bearings and to develop an objective and more mature personal overview of the situation. I had to enter the realm of the complex debate regarding so called civil nuclear power. I believe this is a theme which each and every one of us, after being adequately informed, can and must express an opinion on.

Production’s Note

“Fukushima: a nuclear story” is not (only) a film about Fukushima, but rather Fukushima is its cause, the initiating event of the story that is being told.

The issue that lies at the core of the film is whether it is right to produce energy, and if it is, at what cost and risk. Also, whether in evaluating the possible construction of a nuclear plant, this risk should be considered as more important than the economic profits reaped by those who build and manage the plants. Are nuclear power plants safe? How much do we really know about these plants? Do we know anything about their maintenance, use and safety?


Fukushima: A Nuclear Story’ stands out among 3/11 documentaries

Marc Schilling, Japan Times

“…combining classical journalism, popularisation and the pertinent contribution of manga drawings… Everything that anyone could ask of current affairs television that respects the finest of the past. Without mannerism or snobbery, art and culture have shaped Pio D’Emilia’s work as correspondent in Japan for SkyTg24.”

Riccardo Bocca, L’Espresso


“… this is investigative journalism! D’Emilia traversed a scenario of post-apocalyptic devastation to closely monitor the evolution of the crisis that led to massive nuclear radiation pouring into the air and ocean … He reveals the real responsibilities behind the tragedy, not all of them attributable to a natural disaster, and the mishandling of the crisis.

Aldo Grasso, Corriere della Sera

“One of the finest documentaries ever seen. The strongest sequences in ‘Fukushima–A Nuclear Story’, the ones that will be hard to forget, are D’Emilia’s incursions into the dead zone.”

Jaime D’Alessandro, La Repubblica

“… testimonies and an exclusive interview with former Prime Minister Naoto Kan about what really happened at Fukushima Daiichi after the tsunami, revealing how much Japan risked…”

Michela Tamburrino, La Stampa

“The title – Fukushima: A Nuclear Story – leaves no space for doubts. The story is the result of an all Italian team which avails itself of high quality connections abroad”

Leonardo Patrignani,

“Fukushima, a nuclear story”



“The docufilm is based mainly on information collected by journalist  Pio d’Emila, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years…”