Accessibility Links


Documentary, Human Rights 1h 27m 2021


The Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture is one of the largest of Japan’s 17 immigration detention facilities. Stories of Japan’s restrictive immigration policies detaining visa overstayers indefinitely, and prohibitive refugee application recognition rates (below 1% in recent years) have long circulated in the news, however the stories of people lost in the system are less visible. In this urgent call for human rights Thomas Ash (Sending Off, JC 2020) utilizes hidden cameras to interview detainees at Ushiku beginning in late 2019, who detail inadequate medical treatment, failure to recognize trans peoples’ gender identity, physical abuse and hunger strikes, all as the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic rages in the background, and Japan promotes a surface-level image of acceptance and inclusion in the name of the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Nippon Docs Award, Nippon Connection Film Festival 2021

“Ash’s unflinching humanitarian documentary is an eye-opening exposé of the bureaucratic heartlessness at the centre of a needlessly hostile and inhumane immigration system.” —Windows on Worlds

Streaming in the U.S. from August 20-September 2 as part of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film 2021

Let us know what you think of the film!


Thomas Ash





Bonus Content

Introduction by Ian Thomas Ash

You may also like

Documentary Focus Bundle
3 films
No Smoking
Documentary, Music 1h 36m 2019
Why You Can’t Be Prime Minister
Documentary, Politics 1h 59m 2020

Become a member to save on film streaming and more, join today!

Download the app to view your purchased content!