TV Tokyo and later Reuters “reporter” Kyoko Gasha turned her back on job and husband and fled to New York City to free herself of Japan’s sexist, seniority-based employment system—making a minor name for herself in the Big Apple. Now she calls herself a “documentary filmmaker,” and offers this film to support that claim, despite the fact that, aside from a little polite praise from a handful of women’s film festivals, it has been universally and deservedly ignored. Cinematically speaking, it’s a meandering mess, unfocused and poorly written with crappy camera work. The wandering takes us repeatedly back to extended interviews with Kyoko herself, including justifications for her inflated sense of accomplishment. Fortunately, the four other Japan-NYC transplants she interviews are quite interesting. Had she stayed behind the camera and tightened everything up a bit, we’d have a pretty good half-hour TV program on a valid subject of interest to many. As it is, it’s an excellent example of bloated, narcissistic filmmaking. And a question: why confine the message to women? Men as well have benefitted from quitting Japan’s rigid strictures against merit-driven professional growth. On top of everything else, this is fake feminism.
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