In the 1970s, a number of Japanese and South Korean civilians were kidnapped by North Korean officials. Megumi Yokota was one of the youngest: a 12-year-old Japanese girl picked up on the street near her home. Almost three decades later, Korean authorities declared Megumi dead: this film documents her parents' attempts to confirm that fact. It's a fascinating story, treated in unimaginitive style by director Van Veelen, whosearea of interest remains firmly within Megumi's immediate family circle, never feeling the urge to explore the wider ramifications of the disappearances. Add to that a series of wildly pretentious interludes featuring the director herself (actually, an actress portraying the director) and you have an underwhelming, somewhat tedious treatment of a nonetheless fascinating topic.
Mirjam van Veelen