Seeking asylum in Japan, detainees at the infamous Ushiku immigration centre speak out in secretly recorded interviews.
This is a fight between me and immigration.
No one knows who’ll win.
We’re just like cockroaches.
If they cancel the Olympics
it will be a kind of punishment for Japan.
They let me out a month ago.
They gave me a provisional release after I went on a hunger strike.
Now I’m feeling the pains inside my body,
what they did to me.
We put our heads together, like this.
And she says, “Deniz, come home soon.”
一緒に ｢ああ デニズ早く帰ってきて｣
I’m still new, just two years in here.
Well, I still thank God for my life today
because some of my friends are no more.
Ushiku takes viewers deep into the psychological and physical environment inhabited by foreign detainees in one of the largest immigration centres in Japan. On the eve of Japan’s recent – and highly contentious – immigration reform efforts, the media blackout the government has imposed on its immigration centres is bypassed, bringing viewers into immediate contact with the detainees, many of whom are refugees seeking asylum. Detainees are held indefinitely and subject to violent deportation attempts by Japanese authorities against a background of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic and with the spectacle of the Tokyo Olympics looming on the immediate horizon.