The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and its aftermath have been the focus of many films, both fiction and nonfiction. However, most of them have been by filmmakers who’ve come from outside Fukushima Prefecture, where the disaster hit hardest.

Ryuichi Hiroki, a native of Koriyama, Fukushima, rewrote his 2011 film “River” to reflect the catastrophic effects of the quake, but he hasn’t finished with the subject, as his new film “Side Job.” makes clear. Based on his own novel, the film is full of characters and incidents taken from years of research but doesn’t turn into a docudrama or a weepy “social issue” production, with its pure-hearted heroes and obvious message. Instead, “Side Job.” provides a narrative that stays true to the complex and not-always-edifying reality of life in the disaster zone. And that makes it the best film I’ve seen on the topic — and I’ve seen dozens.

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