MEGUMI (2008)

Megumi, 65 min, Japan, Japanese spoken, English subtitled.

Megumi, 52 min, Japanese spoken, Dutch and English subtitled


The Japanese girl Megumi Yokota
On November 15, 1977, 13-year-old Megumi Yokota leaves at 6.00 PM her school in Niigata, a coastal city in Japan, never to come home. Megumi is abducted by North Korean secret agents to teach Japanese to trainee spies but her parents will know that only two decades later. Reunion seems to be close but then the parents are told that Megumi had died, without any conclusive evidence given to this fact. They cannot and will not accept her death. They strongly believe she is still alive and keep on searching up to the present day, trying to finally bring their daughter safe home.
The film Megumi
is a poetic and affecting account of tragic loss and the power of hope. The film focuses on the personal loss, hope and longing of her family and those close to Megumi, all of whom patiently await her return. Heartbreaking interviews with the parents of Megumi Yokota, her twin brothers and her former school head are combined with associative poetic fiction scenes with a 13-year old Japanese actress playing the role of Megumi Yokota and a 40 year old Dutch actress.

The film Megumi
is not a reconstruction of the tragic event but a film about the universal feeling of grief parents experience when they lose their child. It is filmed from the perspective of the filmmaker who becomes so involved and committed that also she starts to believe, like Megumi’s parents, that Megumi is really still alive.
Megumi is produced by 100 MeterFilms (Japan) and Mirfilm, The Netherlands.
Film festivals
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Janica Draisma
as Mirjam van Veelen

Asami Fukaya
as Megumi Yokota

Sakie Yokota
Megumi Yokota’s Mother

Shigeru Yokota
Megumi Yokota’s Father

Takuya Yokota
Megumi Yokota’s Brother

Tetsuya Yokota
Megumi Yokota’s Brother

Yoshie Baba
Megumi’s Former Head Master

Chikara Seki
Bus Driver

Yu & Shinobu Watanabe
as the Young Takuya and Tetsuya Yokota

Mirjam van Veelen
Director of Photography
Benito Strangio
Katarina Türler
Original Music
Robin de Raaff
Sound Design
Tom Bijnen
Rik Meier
Line Producer
Shohei Shiozaki for 100 MeterFilms
Production Manager
Chris Payne for 100 MeterFilms
Research, Interpretor
Maremi Watanabe
Poster & Title design
Irma Boom
Visual FX
Rafaël Croonen

This film was made possible with the financial support of :
Netherlands Filmfund
•Thuiskopie Fund
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts
100 Meterfilms, Japan
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo

•Tozai Travel, Amsterdam
•Fort Advocaten, Amsterdam
•Evert Snel piano’s-vleugels
•Administratiekantoor Schepper

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