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Japan's Secret Shame

Duration: 1 x 52'

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With unique access this film follows the moving story of Japanese journalist, Shiori Ito, who alleges she was raped by a well-known TV journalist.

In a courageous personal story, the film follows Shiori over the year after she went public. While the global #MeToo movement galvanised women across the world, in Japan the response was muted. The film interweaves Shiori’s story with the broader social context in Japan.

Despite reporting the case to the police, a process in which Shiori was required to re-enact the alleged rape with a life-size doll, the case was dropped after a year long investigation. When Shiori took the unprecedented decision to go public with her allegations and reveal her identity, she was met with with public humiliation and hate mail.

With unique access, the film follows Shiori over the year after she went public. While the global #MeToo movement galvanised women across the world to speak up about their allegations of sexual assault, in Japan the response was muted. Undeterred, Shiori visits the institutions she believes failed her and meets other women who are too afraid to speak out. The film interweaves Shiori’s story with the broader social context in Japan, where until 2017, the minimum sentence for rape was shorter than theft.

 

What the Press Say:

‘A deeply moving film.’– The Observer

‘Following Ito over a year, this powerful documentary shows her visiting the institutions she believes failed her, talking to women in the same position as her, and dealing with her relationship with her country.’– Royal Television Society

‘We hear Shiori’s story in a considered manner… her fight to effect change in Japan is admirable and exceptionally brave.’ – The Times

‘Ito scandalously broke with Japanese tradition by going public, as is first seen in this compelling film.’– The Sunday Times

‘This fascinating documentary provides a unique insight into a culture where, when it comes to men and women, ‘no’ is usually thought to mean ‘yes’.– Daily Mail

“Focusing on one rape allegation, this important film tells the wider story of violence against Japanese women. ” – The Guardian

“In one of the most compelling openings I’ve seen in a documentary, typed words from the emails exchanged between Shiori Ito and Noriyuki Yamagichi, after she claimed that he raped her in 2015 appeared on the screen.” The Times

“…an incredibly important film, brave and necessary, handled with care and quiet fury.” The Guardian

“The woman standing up to Japan’s sexual shame. In a country where sex is kept firmly in the shadows, Shiori Ito has been a lone voice saying #MeToo.” The Times

“One woman’s brave fight for change, and to prove No really did mean No.” The Evening Standard

 

For BBC2

Japan's Secret Shame
Japan's Secret Shame
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