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Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story (Unrated)





Release Date: January 12th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Safari Media.
Directed by Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Japanese parents who search for their daughter, Megumi, abducted by North Koreans in 1977.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Abduction has a provocative subject matter that adds some mystery and tension, but it ultimately falls apart without enough synthesis of all the facts and evidence. Megumi disappeared in 1977 and her parents have been desperately searching for every since then. A new turn of events gives them hope that she might actually be alive somewhere in North Korea: North Koreans had once kidnapped many Japanese people with the intention of making them teachers in Korea. Megumiís distraught parents plea with the public and the North Korean government to help bring back their beloved daughter alive. However, despite a few witness accounts that they saw somebody who looked like Megumi, nobody can be certain about anythingónor has the North Korean government admitted that they have her alive. This gray area is what makes Abduction a bit frustrating. Co-directors Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim show plenty of evidence and footage of family members crying which meander too much without providing any real, interesting answers other than suggesting the potential of political corruption. More critical investigation and synthesis of the facts would have helped to keep the film more focused and compelling.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The unconditional love that Megumiís family has for Megumi is quite palpable whenever theyíre on camera. Itís satisfying to know that they havenít given up hope, even when the North Korean government sends her what they claim as Megumiís ashes.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally meandering.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2

IN A NUTSHELL: Provocative and moving, but unfocused and ultimately underwhelming.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD


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