Above and below: Scenes from "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" show the beloved sakura amid the devastation in northeastern Japan.

BEVERLY HILLS — “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category.

The film shows how survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. They reflect on the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower.

“The plants are hanging in there, so us humans had better do it too,” one of the interviewees says.

Directed by Lucy Walker, a past Oscar nominee for “Waste Land” (2010), the documentary features photography by Aaron Phillips and music by Moby. The producer is Kira Carstensen of Supply & Demand Integrated.

Walker had planned to make a “visual haiku” about cherry blossoms and was in Japan when the tsunami struck on March 11. She decided to make a completely different film to show solidarity with the survivors, and hopes to tie in its release with the first anniversary of the disaster as well as the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry blossoms to Washington, D.C.

“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” (Japanese title: “Tsunami Soshite Sakura”) is an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival.

To see a trailer, visit www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/.

Also nominated for best short documentary are “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement,” “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” “Incident in New Baghdad,” and “Saving Face.”

The 84th Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC.

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  1. Cheery blossom is telling us that there’s always a new life after a disaster non matter how terrible. Life goes on, God wants us to celebrate the fullness of life.