Hereafter, the Clint Eastwood-directed meditation on life, death and what-happens-next starring Matt Damon and Cecile de France, was pulled from theaters in Japan this week, in the aftermath of the country’s epic natural disaster. De France plays a French TV journalist vacationing in Thailand with her lover (Thierry Neuvic), when a huge tsumani rolls in off the Indian Ocean and courses through the streets, toppling trees and buildings, subsuming cars and market stalls and leaving hundreds of bodies in its wake. De France’s character rescues a child, drowns during the tidal catastrophe, and then is revived by medics.
But for anyone who has seen the film, and then seen footage and photos of the tsunami that hit Japan’s eastern coastline on Friday, the verisimilitude of Eastwood’s CG version is eerie and unsettling. (Hereafter was nominated for a visual effects Oscar, based primarily on these scenes.) Removing the film from theaters in Japan – it opened there a few weeks ago – makes perfect sense. Satoru Otani, of Warner Bros. in Japan, said that the tsunami sequences which open the film with a jolt, were “not appropriate” given the tragic events of recent days.