Saturday, March 18, 2006



We're in Cleveland and spent yesterday trying to weave through the St. Patrick's Day crowds on our way to our opening at the Cleveland International Film Festival right in the heart of the city. The Cleveland newspaper picked ABDUCTION as one of the top five films to see at the festival. The review is below. The screening went well and a lot of tears and anger afterwards. Probably one of our most engaged crowds yet. One woman left the theater unable to speak to us because she was so moved by the whole experience. We only wish the Yokotas could see these people and how they're reacting. Non-Japanese crowds are really responding to the story with a lot of emotion. One man left saying he would write Japan's Prime Minister a personal letter asking him why more can't be done for these families...

FROM THE PLAIN DEALER (Ohio's largest newspaper)

Answers create more questions in mystery over disappearance
Friday, March 17, 2006
Clint O'Connor
Plain Dealer Film Critic
A 13-year-old girl heads off to school and is never heard from again.

The nightmare every parent dreads hit the Yokota family Nov. 15, 1977, when Megumi disappeared from Niigata, Japan. Her parents and younger brothers mourned her loss but didn't know what happened. Was she kidnapped? Raped? Beaten?

Finally, after much digging by journalists and information from a defector, the mystery had some answers: North Korean spies had abducted not just Megumi but 12 others, mostly young Japanese couples. They were used as test studies for spies who would later pose as Japanese citizens on various global missions.

The Yokotas waited 20 years for any information about their missing daughter and would have to wait seven more for anything remotely definitive. Was Megumi still alive? Would they see her again?

Filmmakers Patty Kim and Chris Sheridan spent years pulling together the pieces of the Megumi puzzle. The result is a provocative documentary with surprise twists and an insightful glimpse of Japanese-North Korean relations.

Megumi's parents never abandon their quest for truth. Her mom finds comfort in the Book of Job. "God can take anything away from you at any time. It's tragic," she says. "But it's what you do with the sadness that matters."


At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your film. I met you the first night of the film festival. My sister works for the Plain Dealer and I lived in Japan for three years. I am sorry I didn't get to speak with you afterwards. I am sending the link to your website to all of my friends that I met while I was in Japan. I know they will be very interested in seeing this film and learning more about it. Will you be showing it anywhere else in the future?

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Director said...

Thanks very much for your comments. We really try to talk to as many people as we can after each screening. We're sorry we didn't get a chance to chat. The film will be in San Francisco and Omaha next week. We will be in Boston at the Boston Independent Film Festival in April, the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto in April, the Atlanta Film Festival in June and there are more but I can't announce them yet. Thanks again for coming out. We had two great audiences in Cleveland. Amazing people.

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

patty and chris,

i left sunny la/usc to spend spring break in cleveland, where my boyfriend lives. both of us were moved and haunted by this film. chris spoke briefly to us after the screening, and i was only able to mumble something like, "i enjoyed the film" b/c i was so moved by the determination that all of the families had to see their loved ones again. their faith is AMAZING, in the face of governments who don't really give a damn.

thank you for making this film, and for bringing to light stories that the average american would not know because some of the media and "the powers that be" don't/won't take the time to do so.

stories such as this one encourage me as a future professor and activist. the quest for truth should never cease.

for caring about megumi and all of the other (un)known abductees, thank you.



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