Japan’s recent rush to accept people fleeing Ukraine has stood in contrast with the government’s attitude toward asylum seekers from other parts of the world. In 2020, the country accepted just 47 refugees, but it’s home to thousands more displaced people, many of whom spend years living in straitened circumstances as they try to convince the authorities to let them stay.
This situation is brought into relief by director Emma Kawawada’s striking debut, “My Small Land,” a coming-of-age tale with an unusual protagonist. Seventeen-year-old Sarya (played by model and first-time actress Lina Arashi) is a Kurdish high school student living near Tokyo with her father and two younger siblings.
Unable to view this article?
This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.
Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.
If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.
We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
my small land, Emma Kawawada