Asahi Shimbun 10/31/2018
Kibo no hikari ni naru eiga. Korekara mo. Film to become the ray of hope.
Dome no Tabibito – Traveler to the Dome
Edited by Tetsuaki Otaki
I came to Hiroshima for the screening of my first documentary feature film, Sands of Silence at the Hiroshima City University. I have been researching sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Asia and America for over 15 years. This film shows light on that topic and also reveals the sexual abuse I and some members of my family suffered.
I became a journalist in Japan. I came to Japan in 1990 as a scholarship student of European Economic Community, and became a Tokyo correspondent for El Mundo, Spanish daily newspaper. In October 1994, I covered the demonstration of the first Korean Comfort Women in front of the Japanese Diet in Tokyo. Their story impacted me and inspired me to keep writing on sexual violence and social justice. In 2008, I started to film this documentary film.
I visited the Peace Memorial Park on October 11th. Standing along the Motoyasu river and looking at the A-Bomb Dome, I remembered my father-in-law. He was a physicist who had been involved in the Manhattan Project. He was always reluctant to talk about it. He was suffering. As I am here in Hiroshima, I do feel we shall never repeat such tragedy.
In a world where nuclear weapons exist, there are two important things in order to pursue peace. First, we have to realize that peace lies within our heart. We need to realize the meaning of life and the purpose of life. Second, all the countries should unite and strongly demand denuclearization.
War is caused by those who have lost touch with their heart. So are perpetrators of sexual violence and human trafficking. About 300 students came to see the film in Hiroshima. One of them said, “Your film gives me a ray of hope.” I would like to continue to make such films from now on.
Sands of Silence Documentary screening to New Roads, Santa Monica, California – high school students
“The film was informative, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking, moving, emotional,and welcoming to other survivors of sexual abuse such as myself. The film expressed kindness towards the victims where most people might put blame. I thought it showed a fascinating comparison between two different kinds of abuse cases and the film delved into the stories without putting the acts/victims against one another. It somehow created an inviting atmosphere despite the heavy topics discussed. It was inviting enough to encourage people to share their own personal experiences.
“I really enjoyed the film. I liked how the documentary was really just like watching a story unfold. That’s something not many documentaries are able to do. It was an emotional movie that did a great job of shedding light on a topic that needs to be seen.”
“I think the topic is very intriguing and a great idea. I love how raw it is, really tells the individual how very real this issue is in our world and how it can really damage someone. I really love the title of the film because it’s something so small that tells one so much about another…where it all began in the grains of sand and the silence that carried on with her for such a long time. I think the only flaw I have of this movie is that it can be slow moving at times, but that isn’t an overall statement just an individual opinion.”
“The film was very personal and raw. The scenes including her family and childhood, especially where she confronts her former abuser in a letter, was especially intimate and moving. I’m admire Chelo for her ability to become vulnerable with her personal life in order to inspire and improve the lives of countless others, still searching for the courage to come out as a victim.”
READ our experience screening the film to a hundred 14 to 18 year-old high school students in Spain