Documentary film “Silent Shame” by Akiko Izumitani at Beijing International Movie Festival – June 7-30
Akiko Izumitani is a Japanese documentary filmmaker based in the US.
Inspired by Steven Spielberg, she is committed to using film to
convey untold stories, such as in Silent Shame, her own war documentary.
The director says: ‘Silent Shame is a documentary that looks at why
more people aren’t aware of Japan’s war crimes in Asia during World
War Two, and its effects on society today. Being Japanese, but living
in the US, people who haven’t seen the film usually misinterpret me
as an unpatriotic person, but I believe that once they see it they
will realize the film’s strong anti-war message.
‘I was inspired to make this film after seeing Minoru Matsui’s
documentary Japanese Devils, and if it wasn’t for him introducing me
to many Japanese war veterans the film wouldn’t have been made.
‘After interviewing countless victims, historians and veterans I
didn’t find myself conflicted as a Japanese person, but more
disturbed by the brutality of the crimes themselves. It was
unbelievable to me to learn how people were capable of being so cruel
to one another and that there exists today such strong anti- Japanese
‘But the film isn’t about nationalities, it’s about learning about
the horrible things that have gone on in the past so that we can
hopefully not repeat them.’