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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • “From the Shadows” documentary on Japan’s child abductions debuts in Philly Film Festival Oct 23 & 27, tickets on sale now

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on October 2nd, 2012

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    Hi Blog.  Great news.  A movie that has been close to a decade in the making is finally hitting the silver screen:  A documentary on child abductions after divorce in Japan (something I have personal experience with; I was interviewed regarding the Murray Wood Case six years ago; the documentary project has since expanded into something much, much bigger and my interview got cut.  Ah well, DVD extras…?).  Directors David Hearn and Matt Antell have this to say:


    From The Shadows, a documentary film about Parental Child abduction in Japan, will premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 23rd and October 27th. This film follows the lives of 5 “Left Behind Parents” trying desperately to reconnect with their children after having their child-parent relationship cut by the other parent. Through their individual stories we examine why this situation is so common in Japan and hear opinions from an array of experts on the situation. The film has had work-in-progress screenings on Capitol Hill (Nov. 2011) and in Tokyo (Apr. 2012) that was attended by the foreign ministry and several embassy reps.
    The screening venues and times for the Philadelphia Film Festival are:

    1. Tuesday October 23rd, 5:00 pm  – Prince Music Theater – 1412 Chestnut Street  Philadelphia, PA 19102
    2. Saturday October 27th 7:35 pm  – Ritz East – 125 South Second Street  Philadelphia, PA 19106

    First go to this link:
    Then go to the bottom of the screen and make sure you select the screening(s) you want to attend and proceed through to payment.

    We hope you can attend one or both screenings. There will be a Q and A session after each screening and a reception after the 27th screening. More information on the film and the trailer can be seen at

    Please contact David at for more information.

    Congrats, guys.  I’m nowhere near Philly, but those who are, please consider attending!  Wish I could be there!  Hope it gets picked up by a distributor!  Arudou Debito

    5 Responses to ““From the Shadows” documentary on Japan’s child abductions debuts in Philly Film Festival Oct 23 & 27, tickets on sale now”

    1. AJ Says:

      Post festival, how do we access this film?

    2. Charuzu Says:

      This is apropos of bi-cultural children

      Media Relations
      Columbia Business School
      OCTOBER 04, 2012
      Study Reveals How Bicultural Consumers Respond to Marketing Cues

      yet admittedly little else.

      However, perhaps it may be of interest?

    3. Eric Kalmus Says:

      It’s about time there was full documentary made. Thanks Matt & Dave

    4. debito Says:


      From: David Hearn
      Subject: From The Shadows – Philadelphia Film Festival Additonal info. – Oct. 15th, 2012 Update
      Date: October 15, 2012

      Hi again everyone,

      I just wanted to update you all. We are running around getting everything ready for the screenings in a week’s time.
      Matt is burning the midnight oil to make sure everything is in tip top shape. He has commented that the sound and HD quality of the film will make a big difference over the versions we have shown to date.

      A couple things.

      1. After the first screening, Tuesday October 23rd, please make sure to visit this page and rate/comment on the film:

      It goes without saying that a high rating and interesting comments will help attract more attention to the film especially from those people who may not be aware of the issue.

      2. There will be a reception (two minute walk from the theatre) at the Sheraton Society Hill immediately after the screening on Saturday October 27th. This will provide the chance to meet the filmmakers and and some the subjects of the film in person and hear their stories and where their situations stand now. There will be a light menu and drinks served. Please RSVP us if you plan to attend so we can prepare an adequate amount of food and drink.

      Please also keep in mind that there are only 250 seats in the theatre for the Saturday screening. We have already had almost twice that amount of hits on our festival page so make sure to buy your tickets as early as possible!

      Tickets can be bought here (same link as above):

      Looking forward to seeing everybody there! Regards, David

    5. David Says:

      This film is a very important work in that the issue of child abduction to Japan is without a doubt the utmost human rights issue for many non-Japanese people married to a Japanese spouse, whether in Japan or not. For every case of child abduction to this country, there are many more non-Japanese people living with the constantly looming threat that they and their children could be the next victims of human rights abuse, aided and abetted by the Japanese government.

      On a related note, BCCJ Acumen just published the story of Scottish author Douglas Galbraith whose sons were abducted by his Japanese spouse, Tomoko. He wrote a book on the ordeal, “My Son, My Son” hoping that his children will someday be able to find him. The link —

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