Pasadena screen of “Silent Shame” documentary on 07/23/10

Press Release

‘Silent Shame’, the darkest memories of her nation

Action on Film Festival nominee for
Best Documentary and
Best Political Statement Movie
by Akiko Izumitani

It will be screened at 2 pm on Friday July 23 at
Regency Academy Theater, Academy 3
1003 E. Colorade Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105.

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 II, 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.
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.
Akiko Izumitani

Action on Film Festival

Akiko Izumitani was born in Japan. Since her childhood, she was interested in humanity. After watching a film, “Schindler’s List,” she was impressed by the power of film conveying untold stories to abroad public. She realized that her interests are films that deal with humanity. In high school, she learned about the Nanjing Massacre and became more interested in the Asian holocaust. She came to the United States to study filmmaking at UCLA, School of Film and Television. She decided to make a documentary to learn more about war crimes and record testimonies to share their stories with more people.

Silent Shame Synopsis
Silent Shame is about a journey of a Japanese-born filmmaker to confront the darkest memories of her country’s involvement in war crimes during WW II and the impact on today’s society.
Why are more people not aware of Japan’s role in war crimes in Asia during WWII? This journey will begin by confronting a modern people with its controversial and sometimes shameful past. A Japanese-born filmmaker learns more about the atrocities committed by her nation through meeting veterans, researchers, and activists.
The film continues by delving into a past that many Japanese find too painful to explore. Archival footage clearly illustrates a basic history of Asia intercut with interviews of Japanese veterans and historical researchers detailing war crimes carried out by the Japanese. This section segues into a segment about “Comfort Women”. Interviews with Korean rape victims and their Japanese perpetrators, finally give a voice to these often forgotten victims of WWII. Human experimentation and biological warfare is explored in segment number three, and in a rare interview, a Japanese veteran details how he assisted in human experimentation. This segment closes with the filmmaker interviewing several American POWs about their brutal treatment during their imprisonment.
In the course of making this documentary, the filmmaker realizes that Japanese researchers and activists receive tremendous amount of resistance on this topic by right wing Japanese. The journey closes with the filmmaker interviewing Japanese veterans, researchers and activists in an attempt to discover why the Japanese people are so reluctant to talk about the unpleasant side of their history.

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