Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

A 13-year-old Japanese girl was kidnapped by North Korean spies in 1977. Her parents battled for 30 years to bring her home.

Abduction 01
Series
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
June 19, 2008
Length
90 minutes
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Austin Film Festival-Documentary Film Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Omaha Film Festival-Audience Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Slamdance Film Festival-Audience Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival-Jury Prize
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival-Top 10 Audience Favorite
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Asian Film Festival of Dallas-Best Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2009 duPont Awards -Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award
  • Sheridan chris filmmaker bio
    Director

    Chris Sheridan

    Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim are a husband and wife directing team. They are award-winning former National Geographic filmmakers. They have also produced work for PBS, CBC, NBC, and CBS among others. Patty and Chris have worked and filmed in northern Africa, Asia, South America, and even a mile-and-a-half down at the bottom of the uncharted Pacific Ocean. Show more Their documentary Destiny, about the unusual life and legacy of a young photojournalist murdered by a mob in Somalia, won a top prize at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2004. They've honeymooned in the Arctic and count Mongolia as an ideal home. Chris began his career as a newspaper editor in Montreal. Patty's first job was as a weathercaster. She's still convinced there's a 60 percent chance of showers for the weekend. Abduction is their first independent feature-length documentary film. Show less

    Kim patty filmmaker bio
    Producer

    Patty Kim

    Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim are a husband and wife directing team. They are award-winning former National Geographic filmmakers. They have also produced work for PBS, CBC, NBC, and CBS among others. Patty and Chris have worked and filmed in northern Africa, Asia, South America, and even a mile-and-a-half down at the bottom of the uncharted Pacific Ocean. Show more Their documentary Destiny about the unusual life and legacy of a young photojournalist murdered by a mob in Somalia won a top prize at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2004. They've honeymooned in the Arctic and count Mongolia as an ideal home. Chris began his career as a newspaper editor in Montreal. Patty's first job was as a weathercaster. She's still convinced there's a 60 percent chance of showers for the weekend. Abduction is their first independent feature-length documentary film. Show less

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    The Film

    On a cold night in 1977 in Niigata, Japan, Sakie Yokota looked at the clock on her wall and noticed that it was getting late. Her eldest child, 13-year-old Megumi, hadn’t yet returned home. Megumi usually walked straight home from school. Sakie panicked and ran to the school, but no one knew where her daughter was. For the entire night, Megumi’s parents and her two younger brothers frantically searched the beach near their home. The police got involved and searched for weeks, but it led to nothing.

    A year went by with no word. Five, ten, fifteen years passed. Finally, 20 years after Megumi’s disappearance, a journalist knocked on the Yokotas’ door and revealed something that shocked the family and the rest of Japan: Megumi had been abducted to North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il would later admit that Megumi and 12 other Japanese citizens had been kidnapped from the shores of Japan by North Korean spies.

    Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story begins the day Megumi disappears and follows her parents on their 30-year search to learn the truth about what happened. Initially considered wacky by some Japanese political commentators, and labeled liars by the North Korean government, the families of Megumi and others taken by North Korea had little support at the outset, forcing them to become ever more aggressive and determined. Their stubborn refusal to give up eventually won them public support.

    Executive produced by Oscar-winning director Jane Campion, Abduction is a tale of mystery, intrigue, and love, using archival footage and exclusive interviews to tell what happens when ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

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