ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story
THE FILMTHE MAKING OFTHE FILMMAKERSTALKBACK
Around Independent Lens

The Film

Sakie Yokota and Shigeru Yokota walk in front of a chain link fence with trees in the background
"They walked this way to go home. Megumi and another girl came here and crossed the street. The other girl went that way. They waved to each other at the corner. And that’s the last time anyone saw her."
—Sakie Yokota, mother of Megumi Yokota



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, 10, 15 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 as 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.

Update

Filmmaker Chris Sheridan provided an update in May 2008 on what Megumi's parents have been doing since filming ended.

Megumi’s parents are well into their 70s. They are aging quickly and find it hard to attend some of the events that support their cause. They continue the fight, however, relying more and more on their dutiful twin boys who carry the torch for them. Mrs. Yokota still prays every night for Megumi’s return.


Related Links and Resources

Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story
The filmmakers’ site and blog.

Time: Accounted For, At Last
2002 article on Megumi Yokota.

WashingtonPost.com: 30 Years After Abductions, Questions Haunt Japanese
December 2007 article on the North Korean abductions.

Asagao-no-kai
An online photo exhibit of Megumi Yokota and her family.

Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope
ReACH aims to bring those people abducted by North Korea back to their home countries.

Wikipedia.com: North Korean Abductions of Japanese
A list of officially recognized abductees.


Read about the making of ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story >>

Share your thoughts on the film in Talkback >>

Home | The Film | The Making Of | The Filmmakers | Talkback | Film Credits | Get the DVD | Site Credits Watch Preview COMPAÑERAS