My Small Land (2022) - full transcript

A Kurdish family is trying to navigate their lives in Japan while facing the difficulties of getting their visa approved and seeking refuge in a foreign country. A story, beautifully told, about who you are and how deep your roots run. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
3 languages are used in this story. The
language of the place where they used to

live, The language of the place where they
live now, And the language of their own.

You'll be next.


You can wear my dress.
It's prettier than that.

No. We have your mother's dress.
It'll suit you very well.

Next stop is Saitama.

Press the button to alight.

- I'm off.
- See you.



"Colak Salya"


- It's finished.
- Finally.

Q4's answer is "TRUE", right?


That's a trick question.
I answered "FALSE".

Seriously? I'm tricked!

- She fell for it.
- Unlucky.

- Your boyfriend.
- Really?


I want to have eyelashes like you.

You Germans are very lucky.
♪ Doitsu=Germany

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from the
Parodius series. They are teasing her. Soitsu?

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from
the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

You're so annoying. Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu
are from the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from
the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Soitsu...? Soitsu? Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu
are from the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from
the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

It's Doitsu. Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are
from the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from
the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Koitsu! Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are
from the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are from
the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Doitsul! Koitsu, Aitsu, Soitsu and Doitsu are
from the Parodius series. They are teasing her.

Don't ignore me!

I nearly gushed.

Be careful.

We have to do this
at least twice more today.


Forget I said it.

You might get a recommendation for college.


You've studied hard.

Too bad you have to
leave the badminton club.

I'm having family problems.

Just keep up your achievements.

Then your efforts will be rewarded.

Yes. I'll try my best.

The change was 662 yen.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

- You're getting used to it.
- Thank you.

So, how much do you think he bought?

I don't know.

783 yen.

Hello. Do you need a bag?

- Nope.
- All right.

783 yen.

Received 1000 yen.

The change was 217 yen.

The receipt.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

You're right!

You'll be there in time.

Experience is the best teacher.

What? Don't know this proverb?

What's that in your hand?


This is from my art
class. I tried to wash it.

But can't wash off?

- Non-washable paint.
- Oh.

- Is that true?
- Yes.

Times have changed since your times.

It's not polite!

Don't let it happen again.

Yes. I'm sorry.

I think we have soap.

He likes to nag.

Thank you.



Thank you.

Why are you always
here after the shift is over?

The manager is my family.

Your father?


He is my uncle.

My mother's brother.

That's the reason?


That's why.

He has some things to do.

So, it's like this.

It doesn't have to be.



So, why are your hands red?

Because I eat too many tomatoes.


How much did you eat?

Enough to fill a large carton.

You're a bad liar.

Well then. See you.

See you.

Welcome back!


Ms. Colak!

You see.

Some washed their muddy uniforms again.

The washing machine gets full of sand.

I've tried to warn them,
but they don't understand.

Sorry. I'll tell them.

Would you translate this for me?

Okay. Of course.

Thank you.

May God give us a bright future.

Practicing for the badminton match?

Yes. I'm late for that.

Try to come home early.
You know we should eat together.


I don't want an apology.

Kurdish again?
So that I don't understand?




Aunt Ronahi.


Hezkirin. It means love.

Mazrum. Robin.

Hi, Ronahi.


Yusuf should have his eyesight
checked by a doctor.

Will you take him?
I can't leave the factory.

Yusuf can speak Japanese.

Go with him.

He's still in elementary school.
He couldn't go alone.


Thank you.

Gabriel: Utilities, Phone bills
Vikas: Japanese language fees.

Salary-Colak Salya


I found a necklace.

You idiot.

Ramen noodles again?

You must find a wife.

I know.

He already has someone.

What did you say?

Five years since you graduated?

Brings back memories, huh?

Yes. Nothing has changed.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

Did you make this?

At that time, it was only
you. Now we have more.

I see.

When you don't speak Japanese,
we have to gesture to each other.

But not for long.

Yes, it's thanks to you.

Thanks to your hard work.

Not everyone tries as hard as you.

Studying for the college entrance exam?


I want to be a teacher like you.

Heh. I'm flattered.

I'm here if you need to talk.

Thank you.


Is he talking at home?

The thing is...

He rarely spoke in school.

He never talked to his classmates.

Was he being bullied like I was?

It's a little different.


He said he is an alien.

Classmates called him a liar.

Then, he started avoiding them.

Why do you say that?

Because they ask me where I come from.

You don't know what to say, right?

Am I an alien?


Then, neither do you.

You know who you are.

Be proud and tell them you're Kurdish.



The place where I was born...

...has many stones.

Like this?


There's nothing to do in the village
other than kicking stones.

This stone.

And the Kurdish stone.

All the same.

This one too?


Our country here.


That's why...

stones are everywhere
around us all the time.

Your refugee application has been rejected.

I am...

a refugee.

I can explain again and again.

What else do you need? Some kind of proof?

I don't have the answer.

Soldiers burned my house.

I was arrested for
participating in demonstrations.

I got these scars when they tortured me.

I can't change the decision.

Look carefully.


Can't you see I'm a refugee?

Stop it!

You'll make things worse.

Your current residence card is invalid.

Now, about the interim release.

Instead of being detained
as an illegal foreigner,

You'll be free under certain conditions.

First, you are not allowed to get a job.

Second, don't go...

Mr. Yamanaka.

What is your advice as our attorney?

I know that doesn't make
sense to a refugee like you.

But please,

just obey the rules of interim release.

And stay healthy.

If you see a doctor even with just a cold,

it may cost you 10k yen or more.

We can't leave Saitama, can we?

I want to go to Harajuku.

You can leave the prefecture
with permission from Immigration.

But not for fun.

My life is over.

You each can choose 3 toppings.


What do you want?

Don't eat loudly.

It tastes better that way.

I don't like it.

Have you ever tried it?


So, you wouldn't know. Right?

It tastes so much better
when you're not sipping it.

That's right. It tastes better.



Really? Yummy?

I want to study in Tokyo with Tomo.

You too? Tokyo?

If I can.

Of course.


- I've been thinking.
- About what?

What if we share an apartment?


- You're a genius.
- I know.

But, sorry.

I want to move in with Tomo.

What? Are you serious?

Then, I'll move in with Salya.

I don't think she would.

- Is that true?
- No.

But you'll make me do all the housework.

Of course.

- Who knows?
- Just refuse.

We must stay close.

What about Shibuya?


I heard the place is crowded.

You heard? You don't know
anything about Tokyo?

Sorry for the wait.

You look like a doll.


Where do you come from?


Really? You speak Japanese very well.

I can't believe you're a foreigner.

Thank you.

860 yen.

Will you return to your country one day?

I want to live here in Japan.

I wish you success.

Thank you.

Here's the change,
140 yen, and the receipt.

Thank you

Are you done?



Our new arrival!

You noticed? My treat.

- Eat it.
- Thank you.

Have you washed it?


It's a beautiful color.


Yes. I like red.

It's delicious.





I'm not German.

During World Cup
when I was in elementary school,

my classmate asked me

which country do I support

I said Germany.

Germany has a strong team.


I want to support Japan like everyone else.

But I think it'd be weird if I said Japan.

You're thinking too much.

I can't help it.


everyone started to think I'm German.

I didn't deny it.

I also started saying I'm German.

Where are you from?

I'm Kurdish. I'm sure
you've never heard of it.


Sorry, I don't know.

No one knows.

Have they ever been in World Cup?

Nope. We can't.

Don't have a strong team?



Hands are colored red

in Kurdish marriages.

By relatives.

When I see my red hand,

it reminds me

that I am Kurdish.

Same here.

When I see blue and orange,
it reminds me of my uncle.

It sucks.

Not even a little.

Really sucks.

There's something here.

Good grief.

You're the first person I told about this.

You won't regret it?


I see.

Which color?

- Orange.
- Orange.

What kind of art is this?

I don't know.

I like this.

But I want to study art.

In art college.

I want to be

an elementary school teacher.

I'm saving up for it.

I eat too many lemons.

- Too much cabbage.
- Yes.

The rain is getting heavier.




Thank you.

Hey, what's this?

Many Kurds don't speak Japanese.

I help them.

You're already a teacher.

Not like that.

Who are you?

There's nothing to steal.

That's my shirt.

Oh... I'm...

and Salya...


Who's he?

We're doing a presentation about Kurdish.

He came to work on it.

Sorry. I'll ask him to leave.

Stay and eat with us.


You're interested in Kurds, right?


Thank you


It's delicious.

Do you live near?

No. I live in Tokyo.

But you went to school in Saitama?

- I'm...
- Yes, from Tokyo. He's a rare case.

What do you want to know about Kurds?

For example...

your country...

Where is it located?

Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq.

Kurds lived in that region
before those countries existed.

But after the war...

What is "sınır" in Japanese?


The borderline was established
and the Kurds must be separated.

We have no country to call our own.

I'm sorry. I don't know.

I'm glad that you're
interested in our nation.

Want to drink?

No... I'm underage.

I'm kidding.

Come on, Dad.

Here! Awesome!

Come on. Eat.

You like Welat.

He's like a son to me.

Salya, he's your future husband.


Not now, but someday.

Was Fatma younger than
Salya when you married her?

Yes. She was 16 years old.

Arranged by your parents?


Liar. You two fell in love.

Speak in Kurdish.

Then, Salya will not understand.

Mazrum fell in love
with her at first sight.

I'm happy to be able to send
her remains back to our homeland.

Cheers to Fatma!

See you later.

I'll go first.

You don't want to go see the campus?

How about you?

I want to go to Osaka school.



There's an art college I want to get into.

I haven't told my mom yet.

I really want to see Osaka.
I've never been there.

Neither have I.

I wonder how it is.


There's Dotonbori.

Okonomiyaki. Takoyaki.

- Takoyaki.
- Takoyaki.

- Good.
- I want to eat it.


Come with me.


can't go.

I see.


You don't have to be sorry.

Absolutely no need.

Don't apologize.

What is it?


I'm not allowed

to come to Tokyo.

Because of my visa.

I need permission to leave Saitama.

Why suddenly?

We're not approved as refugees.

When I was little,

my father was persecuted

and fled to Japan.

He'll be arrested if he returns.

In Japan,

is your family safe?


But our lives are limited.

It sucks...

That's how it is.

Not the way it should be!

Kurdish greeting...

For hello and goodbye.

Which one is that now?

What do you think?

Hold out your hand.





One two...

Looks good.


We better run.

Come on, quickly.

I'll be fine now.

Thank you.


See you.


I want to go to Osaka with you.


See you.

I'm home.

Come here!

Where are you going?

With a friend.

That man?

We're just friends.

Just friends? Really?


Nothing embarrassing?


Want to swear to God?

I swear.

Don't meet him again.

Let's just eat.

Go wash your hands.


Come on, quickly.

Why can't I meet him anymore?

Why do I have to do this?

You are Kurdish.

Wherever you are, you are Kurdish.

Prayer is a part of us.

It's enough.

My bicycle...


Do you work here?

May I see your ID?


There is no way to survive without work.

But it's hard to get
out once you're caught.

When will he be released?

He might be here


Can we go camping?

I don't think so.

I can take you camping.

No, thank you.

Of course. You want to go with your father.


I suggest you re-apply for refugee status.

And take your case to court.

We have to prove that you deserve asylum.

Thank you.

But that takes a long time, doesn't it?


Nothing will change right away.

What will happen to us?

You didn't do anything wrong, did you?


We'll be fine, right?
We can live in Japan, right?

Don't worry.

Don't be discouraged.

Take care of them.


And our Kurdish friends too.

You must be strong.

I'm counting on you.

All right. See you.

Where's my bike?


My goodness. It's hot here.

What is it?

Where did you go? Club activities?

Shut it. You're not my mother.

Don't be mean.

Are you still helping the Kurds?

Of course.

Just say no. We have our own problems.


Their Japanese doesn't improve
because you do everything for them.

Is it my fault?

That's not what I meant, but...

Then, you do something.

It's none of my business.

You're the one who asked for that.

I'm home!

My mother came back.

Welcome back!

- Hello.
- Hello.

- Pleased to meet you.
- Me too.

Salya and her brother, Robin.

Hello, Salya.


Hello, Robin.


Isn't this a face?

It's a face.

A dog?

That's right.

Awesome! I've never seen cutting like that.

I think that's average.

That's how we do it.

You help your mother in the kitchen, huh?

I cook with my father.

My mother passed away.

But she was the one
who taught me how to cook.

You carry on the tradition.

Where do you come from?

I'm Kurdish.


That sounds cool.

I also brought the taste
of Iwate, my hometown.

Just me and Sota.

He didn't help me with
the housework at all.

He really loves his art.

I love his art.

- Really?
- Yes.

To be honest...

I wanted him to get a regular job.

You don't want him to be in art?

It's okay.

Parents are happy
when their children are happy.

He must follow his heart.

He's lucky to have a mother like you.

I'm sure your dad feels the same way.

How's your dad?

Have you called him?
Won't he be worried?

Yes, He's good.

His dad is so cool.

I want to meet him.

He has a big beard.


What is it?

Are you okay?

Our father is not at home now.

You mean?

Where is he?


He was detained by the Immigration Bureau.


They rejected his
application for refugee status.

He lost his visa.

You too?

Sorry, I can't imagine
what it's like for you.

Let's eat.

It will get cold.

Okay. Eat as much as you want.

Take a bath and sleep here.

Big bath?


Just normal.

You can come any time.

Thank you


We're not allowed to come here.

Why not?

You're back.

We're back.

I brought this for you.

You like Kofta, don't you?

Thank you

Hopefully, Mazrum will be back soon.

What about your husband?


It's been two years.

Two years...

Have you written a letter to your father?

Not yet.

Write it down.

He's worked so hard for you.

For me?

He wants to send you to college.

No Scribbling

I'm so sorry. You're a good employee.


I can't let you work illegally.

Your salary.

And I gave a little extra.

Don't tell anyone you work here.

Besides that...

about Sota...

please stay away from him.


Her mother...

She was worried.

For his son and also you.

Thank you.


Take this.

What is the problem?

I'm fired. Illegal worker.

Sorry. I'll talk to my uncle.

Just forget it.

And about Osaka

Go alone.


Can't you just ask permission?

I don't want to go anymore.

Are you okay?

I'm fine.

No air-con but...

the food is very cold.

The best "Ho-spi-ta-bi-li-ty"!


I'm glad you're well
enough to be sarcastic.

Others will be very depressed.

Then, why don't you
take this case to court?

You can do it if you want.

How about you?

I'll go back.

What are you talking about?

I can't live in this place. I'll go crazy.

You know the dangers of going back.

Yes. You said you would be caught.

Japan made me leave.


I don't think that's right.

So, we have to keep looking for
ways to get you to stay.

Think carefully.

Don't worry. We will meet again.

That will never happen.

I have no place anywhere.
It doesn't matter where I am.

What about me?

Where is our place?

You who brought us here.

Now you'll leave us?

You're so selfish!



What happened?

I'm not accepted even
with a recommendation?

I'm sorry.

The college said no.

- Let's find another school that...
- I can't even take the entrance test?

You can take the exam.

But you need a visa to be approved.

I'll help you find another school.

I just want to have a license
to teach in elementary school.

It means a lot to me.


Try to keep an open mind and be positive.

Let's work hard, okay?


I have worked hard.

Of course.

My turn.

What are you doing?


Thank you!

I'm so relieved.

She always passed with your notes.

Yes, but I'm happy for her.

You shouldn't be too
busy studying. Have fun.

You also need rest.


It's fine. It's fine.

Thank you!


Just this much?

With your looks, you can earn a lot more.

Just take advantage of your gift.

What is that?

Manami, what about Tomo?

We broke up.


College entrance is more
important to him, so we broke up.



Stop working like this.

I have my reasons.

Don't tell Shiori.

I won't tell either.

Let's buy the same t-shirt.


You're 2 months late on your rent.

You have to move.

I accept foreigners but not free.

I'm sorry.

Let your father know.

I haven't seen him lately.

We'll pay it soon. I promise.

Sorry. This is all I have.

My boss ran away.

Thank you.

You should ask Welat.


He is there.

He's your future husband.

Don't say that.

- Welat! Salya is here!
- Stop!

Salya, how are you?


You can talk to me.

There's nothing to talk about.

Don't you like me?

Mazrum helped me come to Japan.

I owe him a lot.

I want to help you.

We Kurds must stick together.


I am different.

You're Kurdish.

It was awesome. I think it's perfect.

- True!
- We are great!

Why are you doing this?


You can't rely on your parents?


You're so young. It's hard.

But your hard work will pay off in the end.

Thank you.

I want to help you.

Order whatever you want.

Can I have french fries please?

Of course.

By the way.

Did you do the "extras"?

A hug for 3 thousand yen?

A kiss for 10 thousand yen?

Fast money. Everyone does.

Aren't these just mere greeting
gestures for foreigners like you?

I don't want to force you.

I have to go.


Just one hug.

Five minutes.

Five minutes?


Pay me first.

I'll pay 10 thousand yen, even 20 thousand.

This is okay, right?

Don't worry.

I'll not hurt you.

Stop it! Ouch!

You bitch! Get out from Japan!


How are you?

I'm fine.

How about you?

I'm fine.


About your job.

I'm sorry.

That's how it is.

Take this.

It really isn't much.

It's not from my uncle or my mom.

It's from me.

Thank you

But it's fine.

Are you sure?

I'm sure.

Sorry, I can't think of anything else.

I'm stupid.

Hey, Robin isn't home yet.

Since when?

I think he's not here since afternoon.

- I'll look over there.
- I'll go there.


Where are you?



Didn't find him.


- Robin!
- Robin!



Where did you go?

I'm looking for stones.


You're more stupid.

You're right.

Why isn't daddy home?

I don't know.

Be careful!




We used to make kebabs and go fishing.

Every year.

Sounds like fun.

It seems that place is
similar to where I was born.


I don't remember at all.

But I remember getting
stones for my birthday.

The prettiest stone in the village.
Unbelievable, right?

Your dad is so cool.

You think so?

I don't know what he's thinking.

Me too.

I don't know what my mom's thinking.


She said she is happy if you are happy.

She said so?

Life sucks, huh?

Life sucks.

I have to talk to her.

Me too.


Here I go.

New record!

You suck.

He can use this.

It's getting colder.


Look at this.

"Salya Colak, Arin, Robin."

"I'm Mazrum Colak. I
have a family that I love."

"I also have many good friends.
I hope we can always be together."


Can't you convince him to stay?

I wish I could.

But he'd already made up his mind.


He'll be arrested if he goes back.

He can't go back.

You have to stop him.

The thing is...

He told me not to tell you, but...

Visa has been granted

to the children of foreigners

who grew up in Japan.


But their parents

had to withdraw the visa
application themselves

in exchange for their children's visas.


when your dad heard about it

he decides to return.

There's an olive tree near our old house.

Do you remember?

At that time,

when you were born

I and your mom planted a tree together.

Every year

we plant a new tree

to make a forest.


we were only able to plant five trees.

We had to leave.

What happened?

I just expressed my desire for
the freedom of Kurdish nation.

You will be caught if you go back, right?

Your mom...

she's resting near those trees.

She's alone.

I'll go back for her.

The Olive Tree may have grown this year.

Do you still remember?

Before we came here,

we planted a tree together.


Close your eyes.

What do you see?

I don't know why, but...


The time we eat together.

Are you hungry?


From now on, eat whatever you want.


Time's up.


Your bike

is at the construction site.

May God give us a bright future.

What's this?

This is my country.

This is a mountain and this is a river.

This is our home.

Bigger than this.

What is this?

Bridge to Tokyo, right?

Hope Dad likes it.

This is Dad.

This is Mom.

This is Arin.

This is Salya.

This is Sota.

Thank you

It's me.


God gave us

a bright future.