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Witness Disaster in Japan

 NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $19.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Witness Disaster in Japan + Nova: Japan's Killer Quake + Frontline: Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown
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Product Details

  • Format: 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: National Geographic
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2011
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056IWWXO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,025 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The world watched in horror on March 11, 2011, as the fourth largest earthquake ever recorded crippled Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that swallowed entire communities, leaving an unprecedented catastrophe in its wake. All the while, amateur videographers, news crews, tourists and countless others were recording the sights and sounds of the unfolding chaos. From the producers of the critically acclaimed Witness Katrina, National Geographic presents a powerful firsthand look at the tragedy, entirely through the eyes of those who experienced it.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

This product is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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We've all seen the footage that aired on TV (as well as many clips on youtube) of this horrible disaster. This DVD encapsulates a lot of that same footage, edited down into much shorter clips. It's all still very powerful, but the whole program only runs 45 minutes (as it appears to have been made for TV) and feels incomplete as it doesn't include a lot of the powerful footage easily available elsewhere. For example, there is only about 20 seconds shown of that amazing helicopter aerial footage of the giant sludge & debris wave moving so fast across the land, engulfing cars, houses, and everything else in its path. Watching those long unedited clips (sometimes over 10 minutes straight) on youtube as cars keep trying to outrun the debris wave that's coming in all directions was horrifying, but there's none of that on this DVD. Not that I really want to see that horror again, but that footage just really gave you more of an idea how a tsunami engulfs such a large area and moving in each direction all at the same time, so running left or right you just aren't going to escape either way. Before this disaster, no one had any aerial footage of a tsunami, so seeing how practically impossible it is to out-drive or out-run this fast-moving debris sludge-wave was amazing and jaw-dropping - and none of that is here. This DVD focuses more on people on the street footage (from cell-phones, etc.) and that's all fine and great for what it is. The first 15 minutes are devoted to the earthquake itself from various locations in Tokyo and elsewhere. The last 30 minutes focus on the tsunami and the aftermath. There is only a brief mention near the end of the Fukushima plant situation. Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed the point. May 18, 2012
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NatGeo dropped the ball on this one. It wasn't so much the earthquake as it was the tsunami that caused the devastation. I found videos on Youtube that I hadn't seen before that showed how horrific the tsunami was, and illustrated that it's power would not be denied. Someone should put these together on a DVD. I wouldn't recommend NatGeo's DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! October 13, 2013
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Bought to use in my classroom for a unit on Japan, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Exactly what I was looking for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating video but sparse on the narration July 22, 2013
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This is a compilation of video footage from the earthquake and tsunami, but not very useful to me as a teacher because I always give a "movie quiz" when I show a movie. This requires that there be some narration (in English)to ask questions about. Although the video footage is excellent, from a variety of cellphones, fixed security cameras and helicopters, there wasn't enough narration for my purposes. I'm sure they will come up with a more formally-produced video about this disaster later.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Condensed view of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan March 30, 2012
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The footage included in the DVD had already been shown on TV in the aftermath of the tsunami, but it was still impacting to watch it again. At 45 minutes long, I felt it was too brief and concise. Surely a regular DVD can store at least three hours of footage without much extra expense! Some harrowing parts seen on TV, like the tsunami rushing across the airport all the way to the terminals as the passengers watched from second floors, which was very dramatic, and the sea birds flying inland together with the rusing waves, as if feeding on marine life stirred up from the sea floor, were not included. I would hope to see in the future a DVD with all footage included, not just such a brief selection.
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