Monday, January 15, 2007


Check out our interview on the NPR affiliate in NY. Click here:

We've been getting some great reviews in the NY press, here's a sampling:

by Matt Zoller Seitz

"“Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story” is an engrossing nonfiction detective tale about the 13-year-old girl of the title, who vanished on the way home from school in Niigata, Japan, in 1977. But it also succeeds as a thumbnail review of a painful chapter of Asian history, and as a portrait of lives transformed by trauma."

by Anthony Lane

"The testimony gathered here gives the film an enduring grip, and none of us could hope to match the forbearing persistence of Megumi’s parents. The worst aspect is, as so often, the most prosaic: the main reason that North Korea stole human beings was because it needed language teachers for its spies. All that grief, just for a chance to talk."

V.A. Musetto

"Abduction uses interviews, vintage photos and re-creations to tell the sad story of love and hope in riveting, suspenseful style. So powerful is this film, it brought tears to my eyes."

by Jack Mathews

Canadians Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim's spellbinding documentary focuses on the relentless search for the truth by Megumi's parents and families of other abductees.


"When a 13-year-old girl named Megumi Yokota disappeared in 1977, her Japanese family and neighbors frantically searched for her, to no avail. This fascinating documentary by Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim reveals that Yokota was just one of many Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Koreans and used to train Kim Jong Il’s Japanese-speaking spies. Through interviews with surviving family members, journalists, and a North Korean defector, this film narrates the emotional tragedy of the Yokota family’s three-decade nightmare and reveals an underreported story shaping East Asian politics."

by Gene Seymour

The facts, alone, are compelling: In November, 1977, a 13-year-old Japanese girl named Megumi Yokota went missing on her way home from school. Her devastated parents try everything they can to figure out what's happened, but to no avail. It takes 20 years for the astounding truth to reach them and the rest of the nation: Megumi is one of at least a dozen young Japanese men and women kidnapped by North Korean spies who used them to learn how to infiltrate their homeland.

If all this sounds to Western sensibilities like an internationally flavored episode of "Law & Order," it's because this story, while obviously very big in the Far East, has been relatively under-reported in the United States. The temptation to juice up the squalid elements of this story would be hard to resist for most filmmakers. Yet, for the most part, directors Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim manage to balance the story's jolting, world-shaking elements with the more intimate details, gathered over several years, of how Megumi's parents cope with their loss and sustain their hopes despite constant setbacks.

These sweet people seem headed into a 30th year of waiting for a closure that seems dangled just out of their reach.


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