At a deserted junction in the evacuated zone around the Fukushima nuclear power station, the traffic lights are red. There’s an element of the surreal about this place. Everything seems normal in the homes of the few people who have returned: there’s running water, electricity, even the TV works. Unconcerned, an elderly couple eats vegetables from their own garden, although another couple won’t move an inch without measuring the radioactivity. They have exchanged their large, comfortable house for a cramped apartment. According to the “show, don’t tell” principle, we meet another inhabitant without commentary: the famous “last man of Fukushima,” who stayed behind after the disaster to feed the abandoned animals. Like the others who feature in the documentary, he has chosen to live a peaceful life on the land he loves, and accepts the risks. Abandoned Land is the directorial debut of Gilles Laurent, who previously worked as a sound engineer with filmmakers such as Carlos Reygadas. Laurent was killed in the Brussels bombings of March 22, 2016.