Ja­panese di­rec­tor: My film ex­plains plight of Ro­hingya

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Culture & Arts -

The di­rec­Tor of an award­win­ning movie por­tray­ing a ro­hingya fam­ily has told Anadolu Agency (AA) he aimed to de­scribe the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by refugee chil­dren through his movie “Pas­sage of Life.”

Ja­panese di­rec­tor Akia Fu­ji­moto’s movie won the best Asian Fea­ture film award at the 30th Tokyo in­ter­na­tional Film Award Fes­ti­val last week.

The film is based on a real story of a refugee fam­ily who trav­eled all the way from Myan­mar to live in Tokyo.

“i wanted to look at the is­sue thor­ough a dif­fer­ent di­men­sion. refugees have been fac­ing se­vere dif­fi­cul­ties. in our movie, we tried to ex­plain that their suf­fer­ings did not end even af­ter tak­ing shel­ter in an­other coun­try,” the di­rec­tor said. Fu­ji­moto worked for four years on the movie, which was filmed in both coun­tries.

“We par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on what these chil­dren faced and what they saw.”

“All i want is hap­pi­ness for chil­dren.” The movie did not use any ac­tors, but the fam­ily is an ac­tual refugee fam­ily of a mother and her two chil­dren from Myan­mar.


The fam­ily in the movie, like many other fam­i­lies liv­ing in Myan­mar, had trav­eled to Ja­pan with­out pass­ports fol­low­ing an anti-gov­ern­ment protest in 1988. “These peo­ple have al­ready faced these prob­lems, and they did not need to act, they were play­ing the truth.”

Fu­ji­moto said that only the role of the fa­ther char­ac­ter was played by a pro­fes­sional ac­tor.

“An­other mat­ter that no­body thinks about is that these peo­ple have chil­dren.”

“What will these chil­dren do, where they will go?”

“This is the mat­ter that af­fected me more. For ex­am­ple, my story ex­plains that the suf­fer­ings of refugee chil­dren don’t end even af­ter they re­turn to their home­land Myan­mar from Ja­pan.”

“Pas­sage of Life” is based on a re­al­life story from early 2010. The di­rec­tor and the pro­duc­tion team be­gan work- ing on it in 2014.

While the movie de­picts the plight of a ro­hingya fam­ily who fled their coun­try due to the 1988 sit­u­a­tion, hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple from the com­mu­nity con­tinue to suf­fer to­day.

Since Aug. 25, over 611,000 ro­hingya have crossed from Myan­mar’s western rakhine state into Bangladesh, ac­cord­ing to the U.N.

The refugees are flee­ing a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in which se­cu­rity forces and Bud­dhist mobs have killed men, women and chil­dren, looted homes and torched ro­hingya vil­lages. Ac­cord­ing to Bangladeshi For­eign Min­is­ter Abul hasan Mah­mood Ali, around 3,000 ro­hingya have been killed in the crack­down.

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