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Friday, June 22, 2012

Film tackles identity issues

Staff Writer

Where is home — Brazil or Japan? This question apparently puzzles the children of Japanese-Brazilians, who were brought here when their parents immigrated for work.

A documentary film on the challenging and dramatic lives of those children is being shown with English subtitles in Tokyo.

The movie, titled "Lonely Swallows — Living as the Children of Migrant Workers" ("Kodokuna Tsubametachi" in Japanese) was codirected by Mayu Nakamura, a Kyoto native who learned filmmaking in the United States, and Kimihiro Tsumura, a professor at Hamamatsu Gakuin University in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The film's story focuses on the lives of five Japanese-Brazilians in their teens and early 20s who are living in Hamamatsu. One of them, 19-year-old Eduardo Muramatsu, grew up in both Brazil and then Japan. He quit junior high school and began working at a factory when he was 16, but was laid off from the factory after the economic downturn began in 2008.

Despite facing harsh obstacles as minorities in Japan, the young Japanese-Brazilians — including Eduardo — who appear in the film are cheerful and never give up on their dreams.

"Lonely Swallows — Living as the Children of Migrant Workers" will be shown at the Uplink Theater in Shibuya, at 1 p.m. on June 22, and at 10:50 a.m. on June 26, 28 and 29. Tickets cost ¥1,500 for adults and ¥1,200 for students. For more information, visit www.uplink.co.jp.

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