Masako Sakata, an award-winning Japanese documentary film director, took the long route to answer a gnawing question: How is it that Japan is still wedded to atomic power while Germany decided to phase out its nuclear plants by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster?

In her latest film, "Morgen" (German for "tomorrow"), set for release this fall in Tokyo, Sakata documents how Germany decided to switch to alternative energy sources in 2011, including natural gas, wind and solar power. The decision came partly in response to Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

"I wondered why Germany could do this, but Japan couldn't," Sakata asks.