A short film by American director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., “Born With It” tells the story of Keisuke Fujii, a boy who has changed schools after his mother moved from Tokyo to accept a new job in field. The boy, who is black and Japanese, must endure and somehow learn, on his own, how to deal with the racist teasing of his new classmates.
The Osei-Kuffour short film originally premiered in 2015, but interest has recently resurfaced after a joint projection of the Japan Society of New York City and the Japanese American Society of Houston in June 2020.
Osei-Kuffour has worked as a filmmaker in Singapore and Japan. He now lives in the United States. The protagonist is played by the Japanese Dadie Tagakasugi, the son of a Japanese mother and a Ghanaian father. In an interview, Osei-Kuffour said he came up with the idea for “Born With It” after experiencing racism as a graduate student in Singapore, but says he also based the character of Keisuke on conversations he had with Japanese friends of black descent. and their experiences growing up in Japan.
“I hope my film will help those who are different to feel less alone and more confident because they are unique,” Osei-Kuffour said in an interview after the film's premiere.
There are other Osei-Kuffour short films available to watch online, such as “The First Time” and “When Doors Open”. “Born With It” can be seen in its entirety on Vimeo.