Sarya has lived in Japan since she was five. She pretends to be German to her friends, which is easier than telling the truth. In reality, Sarya’s parents are Kurds who traveled from Turkey to Japan as refugees. Furthermore, she is responsible for her younger siblings while her father is at work. Despite the hardships, the future seems bright and soon, Sarya will be attending college. A tender relationship develops with her work colleague Sota, and her own feelings begin to surface. All Sarya wants is a completely normal life. However, when her father’s application for asylum is denied, she is increasingly torn apart. A truly haunting film about the balancing act of a young refugee who is searching for her own world while caught between two other ones.
MY SMALL LAND, the debut directorial debut of Emma Kawawada, a mentee of celebrated Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda (NOBODY KNOWS, SHOPLIFTERS), is a nuanced film that explores issues of xenophobia and the impenetrable immigrations laws of Japan, while at the same time telling a heartfelt story about the ups and downs of coming of age, falling in love, and finding yourself.