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Nova: Japan's Killer Quake (2011)

Narrated by Corey Johnson , Rae Gilder , Tom Pearson  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Nova: Japan's Killer Quake + Witness Disaster in Japan + Deadliest Earthquakes: Haiti and Chile (Nova)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Narrated by Corey Johnson
  • Directors: Rae Gilder, Tom Pearson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VW4VCQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,483 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a rising death toll in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear reactor meltdowns. Japan s Killer Quake combines on-the-spot reporting, personal stories, compelling eyewitness videos, and exclusive helicopter footage for a unique look at the science behind the catastrophe.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited by one hour format... June 5, 2011
Verified Purchase
and it can be seen on the PBS website. It does give some good information on the hows and they whys of the earthquake, tsunami and even touches lightly on the effects of Fukushima. I watched the whole thing online (until my overseas ISP got blocked) and found it interesting soon after the disaster. The DVD itself was put out much later (late May) and I was expecting some updated information and more of an appreciation of the effects on the people, economy and life of Japan.

The human toll was given some lip service (ie projections on final numbers of dead and missing) but there were scant views of the powerful effects on actual individuals. The best was at the beginning where a woman was shown looking at the devastation, but you really had no idea what she was looking for or who she was missing. There are so many poignant stories out there and barely anything was shown from the human side--the degree of suffering that was being dealt with, and the responses of the Japanese people. I really felt like this was a missed opportunity.

Not only that, though the footage shown was impressive, moreso would have been the footage of the actual swamping of the Fukushima plant for example. Or the burning of the refineries in Chiba. Many, many more. Simply skimming YouTube showed me much more powerful scenes than many that were chosen for this documentary.

I think what was present on the DVD was interesting (hence the three stars), but frankly seeing Hawaii hit by a 3 foot wave was not as significant as the devestation of Sendai and it's surroundings. Not that it wasn't of note, but if you only have an hour for a documentary, well, there were a lot of more powerful images and storylines to examine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Kyzyl
Verified Purchase
A documentary of the devastation caused by Japan's biggest earthquake (a 9.0) and the tsunami that followed. For anyone who hasn't already seen the videos of the tsunami, I suggest taking a tranquilizer before viewing this video.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD April 22, 2013
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I really enjoy history and the events that happen around the world we live on. Japan's Killer quake was devastating
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classroom Documentary March 17, 2014
By Liz D.
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Great documentary that I use to illustrate seismic waves in my science classroom. Detailed and appropriate for both middle school and high school students. NOVA delivers once again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Earthquake explained... March 3, 2014
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Nova is known for first rate documentaries and this is a fine one. This one shows in detail all that happened in Japan's great quake, but the explanations as to why things happened as they did were not glossed over or left out and spoken about in detail by geologists and other scientists, some that were in Japan and witnessing the event first hand. The footage shown of the disaster was very startling and saddening, but there is much to be learned from events like these, which is why I recommend this to anyone interested in disasters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting March 12, 2013
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This has been on PBS's NOVA, however, I am still in awe watching this as it unfolded two years ago.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and educational April 17, 2011
I had the opportunity to already view this documentary, and it has very dramatic footage of the quakes happening, the tsunami and a time line of everything happening and why it happens the science behind it. You will be amazed at what nature can do. Highly recommend it, I will watch it several times.
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