2021, Documentary

Release Year: 2021
Country: Japan
Director: Ian Thomas Ash
Producers: John Crane, Matsui Itaru, Daniel Ndevu

“Ushiku” takes viewers deep into the psychological and physical environment inhabited by foreign detainees in one of the largest immigration detention facilities in Japan. On the eve of Japan’s recent–and highly contentious–immigration reform efforts, the filmmaker eludes press embargoes the government has imposed on its immigration facilities, bringing viewers into immediate contact with the detainees, many of whom are refugees seeking asylum. Detainees are held indefinitely and subject to physically violent deportation attempts by Japanese authorities against a background of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic and with the spectacle of the Tokyo Olympics looming on the immediate horizon.



About the director

Filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash holds an MA in Film and Television Production from the University of Bristol, UK (2005). Beginning with his first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (2006), Thomas’s films have focused on issues surrounding health and medicine and include two feature documentaries about children living in areas of Fukushima contaminated by the 2011 nuclear meltdown, ‘In the Grey Zone‘ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C‘ (2013).
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