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My Daughter Yoshiko

Brian Blum
United States, 2019, 16 min.

In Japanese & English with English subtitles.

After her daughter Yoshiko is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and her husband is deployed to overseas military service, Saki is finding life harder and harder to manage. Too ashamed to burden others and too proud to ask for help, Saki is now faced with the daunting task of giving her daughter the best life possible. Much more than a story of coping with autism, My Daughter Yoshiko is also about the power of trading shame for empathy.

Director's Statement

The prospect of parenting can be scary, but the idea of parenting a child with special needs can be overwhelming. While in high school, I witnessed these struggles first hand when volunteering at The Friendship Circle, and was both fascinated and in awe of the unwavering, unconditional love displayed by parents caring for special needs children.

Years later, I knew I wanted to explore this relationship further in film. So, I started volunteering again, and interviewed parents of special needs children from my hometown. Among them was my high school Japanese professor Mieko Avello -- an exceptional teacher that motivated students beyond the classroom whom I call "Sensei." Discovering that she too was an autism parent was a huge surprise, and after spending hours speaking with her, I knew that this was the story I wanted to tell. I am grateful that she trusted me with her remarkable story, and I am excited to share it with the world!

Category: Drama.
Themes: Family, Community, Autism.

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