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Pray for Japan


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Editorial Reviews

PRAY FOR JAPAN is the moving documentary about the aftermath of the devastating tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan, focusing on the real-life heroes who fought on behalf of their loved ones and their hometown. On March 11, 2011, Japan's Tohoku coastal region was destroyed by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed. PRAY FOR JAPAN takes place in the devastated region of Ishinomaki, Miyagi - the largest coastal city in Tohoku with a population of over 160,000 people. Filmmaker Stu Levy - an American living in Japan - filmed the tsunami aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer and over a period of 6 weeks, captured over 50 hours of footage. PRAY FOR JAPAN focuses on four key perspectives of the tragedy - School, Shelter, Family, and Volunteers. With each perspective we meet victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them. Through these four vantage points, you will understand the vast ramifications of this large-scale natural disaster - and the battle these real-life heroes fought on behalf of their loved ones and their hometown. The nationwide theatrical release in March 2012 was greeted with sold-out shows across the United States and the film received near-unanimous admiration: the Village Voice hailed it as ''An elegy and a love letter'' while The New York Daily News praised it as both ''Heartbreaking and inspiring''. PRAY FOR JAPAN features an original theme song written and performed by Okuda Tamio, one of the most popular rock musicians in Japan, as well as poetry written by Fukushima poet Ryoichi Wago and read by famed actress Kyoka Suzuki. The opening animation sequence is directed by Hiroshi Nagahama and produced by prolific Japanese animation powerhouse, Studio DEEN. In Japanese with English subtitles, Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, 16x9 widescreen. A portion of the profits from PRAY FOR JAPAN will be donated to Japan Emergency NGO (JEN), a Japan-based charity that provides assistance to victims of natural disasters, wars, and internal conflicts.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: -
  • Directors: Stu Levy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Bayview Entertainment/Widowmaker
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008UQUREK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,882 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4 star
33%
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 13, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary was amazing! I lived in Japan and was here for the earthquake.. As I witness heartache and many more emotions through that time of need. I was able to travel up north last year to help with clean up efforts. Even though its been two years there is still lots to be done! I pray for Japan and everyone who lives here.. When my time is up here and I have to go back to the states I will miss this country dearly! I have called Japan home for the last 4 years. This country is my second home!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Hunt on August 4, 2013
Format: DVD
Pray for Japan is a 2012 documentary about the country's massive tsunami in 2011. Produced and directed by Stu Levy, it follows a handful of stories fragmented and revisited for the film's 90+ minutes.

And it's beautifully balanced. The cinematography is soft, gorgeous, and expertly shot. The people interviewed were chosen well and paired seamlessly alongside each other as the doc moved along. The victims, the volunteers, the family members, and the teachers rebuilding their schools, their students... I was instantly committed to each of their stories and remained that way until the credits. This catastrophe was remarkable, so the devastating accounts of lost loved ones and deleted property was expected. But there were also bits of humor scattered about here and there and I found myself smiling often. I think that's notable and it tied in well. These are resilient people and they are moving forward. Cool stuff.

I think it's also worth mentioning that I watched this with my wife. She'd moved to the States from Japan only weeks after the storm and has stayed concerned for her country's recovery and well being since. We'd pause the movie every so often to discuss something said or seen and this was often initiated by her marveling at something I couldn't get a solid grasp on. She'd explain, tell a story or recall some personal experience, and we'd continue watching. This, to me, adds remarkable value to the film. It's a legitimate effort with no agenda save hope, and that's huge.

The only criticism I have with the film is a personal problem and likely won't effect a majority of its potential customers, but I feel obligated to explain my four-star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mgmartin on June 1, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Pray for Japan. I saw the film at a recent Film Festival at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. A film maker happened to be in Japan for the Earthquake/Tsunami. After volunteering for a few weeks, he decided to make a film. Many people and companies donated their time and money to produce the film. Composers, performers, and 8 Editors donated their time. It is in mixed Japanese and English - with appropriate subtitles in the opposite language. The flood footage from Japan TV was excellent, and more varied than we saw stateside. US Media got distracted by the Nuclear problems and completely missed the volunteer stories. Rolling dissolves between Before and After were excellent. - BUT- you need to open a new box of tissues before watching this one. As an example - they kept coming back to a 19 year old student/ceremonial drummer who lost much of his family in the flooding. At one point, he said: "My 5 year old brother, my 8 year old sister, my grandfather, and my grandmother were fortunate in that they got to share a single common grave." "My brother won't feel lonely anymore." The filmmaker said that the credits are longer than Pirates of the Caribbean - he didn't want to leave anyone out. This film tells the story of the volunteers that helped out. Some of the best were from Pakistan. 200,000+ people died in the event. Rescue helicopters were unable to land for 3 days due to the mud and damage - and during these days - no food - no water. This film is a Must-See - it is NOT fishing for donations. It was in theatres earlier this year - with donations from AMC and Warner Brothers who donated the digital distribution. Remember - that is a new box of tissues EACH. In my top 10.

Mike Martin - AVID Editor/Photographer
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