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Remembering the Future: Sion Sono’s Science Fiction Films


Andreas Jacobsson

Karlstad University, SE
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This article focuses on two science fiction films by the Japanese film auteur Sion Sono: The Land of Hope (2012) and The Whispering Star (2015). The aim of the article is to analyse the two films as a critique of the aftermath to the 3/11 disaster in Fukushima in 2011; highlighting the potentially disastrous ecological effects that the meltdown of nuclear power plants can have on the future for humanity and life on earth. The analytical framework is based on the film philosophical concepts belief in images and time, the film studies concept slow cinema and the science fiction concept counter-futurism. The analysis of the films clarifies how time and duration is used to problematise a future without an actual future in relation to a nuclear disaster. One conclusion is that Sono’s entries in the genre can be regarded as a contemporary phase of the Japanese ‘imagination of disaster’, adding new counter-futurist critical ideas to the cross-section of film-philosophy and science fiction film.
How to Cite: Jacobsson, A., 2020. Remembering the Future: Sion Sono’s Science Fiction Films. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(4), pp.169–194. DOI:
Published on 22 Nov 2020.
Peer Reviewed


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