Bonde and Chayamiti present
WHERE THE WAVES BREAK
a film by Inara Chayamiti
As in the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold, the documentary filmmaker Inara Chayamiti searches for her fragmented identity by gluing together pieces of her family story, marked by two diasporas between opposite sides of the world: Brazil and Japan.
When the documentary filmmaker Inara Chayamiti migrates from Brazil to the Netherlands, she finds herself a foreigner in her own homeland. She, who considered herself a typical Brazilian in the country’s melting pot, now realizes her non-place: seen as too Japanese in Brazil and not Japanese at all in Japan. So she begins to search for her fragmented identity while investigating her family story.
As in the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold, she glues together pieces of this story marked by two diasporas between opposite sides of the world: Brazil and Japan. By using gold in its glue, kintsugi values imperfection and the history of each piece.
Considering himself Brazilian, Inara’s father broke with Japanese traditions and even married her Brazilian mother, a “gaijin” (“foreigner”), to his family’s disappointment. Her batian (grandmother), born in Brazil, defines herself as Japanese without hesitation. Her uncles have been living in Japan for 30 years as Brazilians. And although her cousins were born there, they are Brazilians who only know Japan.
After all, what makes a person Brazilian, Japanese or from any place? To be born there? To be raised there? To understand it? To love it? And what does it mean to be seen as yellow? What was it like for her grandparents and great-grandparents?
On her journey for answers, she realizes how much she does not know of her family memories and the collective history. She learns that her batian, at the age of six, was among thousands of Japanese and descendants who lost everything because they were seen as enemies in Brazil during World War II. However, she discovers that this hostility, in the form of racism and xenophobia, had been happening long before the war.
How can we understand these invisibilized stories from a contemporary perspective and bring more pieces for the Brazilianness’ kintsugi itself?
In 2023, the waves broke with impact! We mark the 115th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil and the 80 years of the expulsion of Japanese and Japanese-Brazilians from the coast of Sao Paulo during World War II. There were 9 special screenings followed by debates with 23 renowned guests in museums, cultural, academic and community spaces, in 5 cities in Brazil.
Below it is a summary of our impact!
São Paulo State Immigration Museum
Historical Museum of Londrina (Hikoma Udihara’s film collection)
Historical Museum of the Japanese Immigration in Brazil
Bunkyo - Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance
Kobe Center for Overseas Migration and Cultural Interaction
Moreira Salles Institute (Haruo Ohara’s photographic collection)
Logan Nonfiction Program
Maria Fumaça Campinas / Brazilian Association of Railroad Preservation
MommaLaw - Müller Mazzonetto
Embassy of Japan in Brazil
Japanese Association of Santos
Director Inara Chayamiti
Producers Lorena Bondarovsky ans Inara Chayamiti
Executive Producer João Martinho
Screenwriters Inara Chayamiti and João Martinho
Editor Inara Chayamiti
Directors of Photography Inara Chayamiti and Kiyoshi Chayamiti
Original Soundtrack Pedro Sodré and Rudah Guedes
Sound Mixing and Audio Post-Production Paulo Oliveira Sousa
Local Producers Sarah Kimura and Emília Chayamiti
Graphic Designer Flávio Reis
Kintsugi Taku Nakano
Impact Strategy João Martinho
Impact Production and Distribution Inara Chayamiti
Impact Production Assistance Luiza de Paiva
Consultant Cíntia Vilani
Drone cinematography Nobuhiko Nagae (Makurazaki), Toninho Torres (Altinópolis) and Lucas Mahler Assunção Valentino (Conquista)
Team at the coffee plantation (Altinópolis)
Director of Photography Elton Ferreira
Camera Assistant Laís Abbade
Production and Camera Assistant Sanner Moraes
Cast Maria Alice Sonehara, Cecília Takaara, Márcia Inazumi and Kiyoshi Chayamiti