Hollywood films about the immigrant experience are common enough (see “The Godfather” and other classic gangster movies for examples), while Japanese films on the same topic are rare, save for those about Zainichi (ethnic Koreans) in Japan. (Among the best is Zainichi director Yoichi Sai’s “Blood and Bones” from 2004.)

The winner of two prizes in the Asian Future section of last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, Akio Fujimoto’s “Passage of Life” is the first Japanese film I’ve seen that foregrounds people from Myanmar living here, though the problems of the film’s family are common to migrants from many countries, from the parents’ harsh struggle to make a living to the father’s doomed quest for refugee status. (Last year Japanese authorities approved 20 of 19,628 refugee applications.)

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