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This Is A Film About What It's Like Living While Black, In Japan

Photojournalist and filmmaker team Keith Bedford and Shiho Fukada are married. They met in New York. Fukada is originally from Japan and started to miss her family when they were living in New York with their young son. Fukada and Bedford wanted him to learn more about Japanese culture so they decided to move back to Japan three years ago.

Bedford is African American. He says he likes living in Japan but there is a sense of being an outsider or a sense of being the other. He says this is a lot of what Fukada went through living in America.

They discussed moving back to America but then the George Floyd killing happened.

Fukada said she worried that something like this could happen to Bedford or her son. And she wanted to learn how others in the Black American community in Japan felt about it. This film touches on what it's like living abroad for a group of Black Americans in Japan.

The filmmakers interviewed three women and three men. They asked them how their encounters with police and racism in the U.S., played into the decision to leave the U.S.

Fukada admits that there is racism in Japan as well. She holds out hope, however, that when her son grows up there will be no ignorance and no racism.

Both Bedford and Fukada hope this film will contribute to building a society in both Japan and the U.S. that is more accepting and welcoming of 'the other' than they are today.

Keith Bedford and Shiho Fukada are filmmakers and photojournalists based in Japan. See more of their films.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Shiho Fukada
Keith Bedford

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