Thomas Ash | Japan 2021 | 87 Min. | OmeU

17.05. | 5pm
De France, Saal 1 | TICKETS

© Thomas Ash

The Japanese city of Ushiku is home to a complex of buildings of the same name, which is officially run as a refugee reception centre. However, for those stranded there, it is a detention centre where asylum seekers are held indefinitely, subject to violent deportation attempts by the Japanese authorities. In the wake of a soon to be implemented but highly controversial immigration reform, further aggravation is imminent.

Thomas Ash uses a hidden camera to circumvent the press embargo on Japanese immigration facilities and interviews the inmates sitting behind a plexiglass screen. USHIKU is a harrowing document of the Japanese government’s brutal arbitrariness in dealing with asylum seekers.

Director: Thomas Ash
Camera: Thomas Ash
Editing: Thomas Ash
Music: Jack Komitetsu
Production: Thomas Ash

Nippon Docs Award (Audience Award) at the 2021 Nippon Connection FF (Germany)
Asian Perspective Award (First Prize in Asian Competition) at the 2021 DMZ Docs FF (Korea)
Camera Japan Award (Audience Award) at the 2021 Camera Japan Festival (Holland)

Singapore International Film Festival 
Festival Fenêtres sur le Japon
Global Health Film Festival
Guam International Film Festival
London East Asian Film Festival 
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival
Camera Japan 
Camera Japan Audience Award
DMZ Docs
Electric Shadows 
I Will Tell 
Japan Cuts 
Nippon Connection 

In his films, Thomas Ash broadly focuses on issues surrounding health and medicine, including 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).  His recent work has focused on death and dying and includes ‘-1287‘ (2014) and ‘Sending Off’ (2019).  Thomas served as Executive Producer of ‘Boys for Sale’ (2017, dir: Itako), a documentary about male sex workers in Tokyo.