Join the Film Committee
Join us on Wednesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. for Emma Kawawada’s poignant feature debut My Small Land, about a well-adjusted Kurdish schoolgirl who is confronted with the harsh limitations of life in Japan when her family’s application for refugee status is suddenly turned down. Kawawada has a blended heritage herself and found herself drawn to the plight of Japan’s estimated 2,000 Kurdish refugees, almost none of whom has legal status in their adopted country. The film’s 17-year-old protagonist Sarya (popular model-turned-actor Lina Arashi) shares her creator’s teenage identity crisis, but has a close-knit family, good friends and plans to attend an elite university before her life is upended by the Immigration Services Agency. When her father is thrown into detention for continuing to work to support his family, Sarya must be responsible for her brother and sister, and her once-promising future evaporates. The end credits include this unsettling dedication: “To the Kurds who helped realize this film, even though they cannot be seen or named.” The director will be joined by stars Lina Arashi and Daiken Okudaira at the Q&A session. (My Small Land, Japan, 2022, 114 minutes, in Japanese, Turkish, Kurdish with English/Japanese subtitles).
Karen Severns is chair of the FCCJ Film Committee