BERLIN  - The Fukushima nuclear disaster has come under the spotlight at Berlin’s film festival with three films exploring its impact on Japanese society less than a year on.

The 11-day festival, which prides itself on its generally edgier and more politically-overt line-up over other film showcases, was perhaps a fitting backdrop for the documentaries.

“I’m more than happy to be here because the Berlinale has got a long history of showing all those political, socially conscious films,” Atsushi Funahashi, director of “Nuclear Nation”, told AFP. He said that although he was sensitised to the atomic question because his family had been affected by the 1945 Allied atomic bombing of Hiroshima, he was unsure at first how to tackle Fukushima.

“First of all, I didn’t know what to do as a film-maker but I knew I had to do something,” he said, adding one of his motives had been the difference in data from international and Japanese officials. He focuses on the exile of residents of Futaba, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was based, to an abandoned high school 250 kilometres (155 miles) away.

The story homes in on a mayor whose town no longer exists as he tries to keep the community together. “No Man’s Zone” by Toshi Fujiwara journeys inside a 20-kilometre area which was evacuated after the disaster, as well as surrounding areas, to talk to “normal” people about how their lives were affected.