Black Box Diaries 2024

Directed by Shiori Ito Frames

Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Her quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s outdated judicial and societal systems.

Aug 10

Hollywood Avondale

Japan In English and Japanese with English subtitles
103 minutes Colour / DCP
NZ Classification TBC



Eric Nyari, Hanna Aqvilin, Shiori Ito


Hanna Aqvillin, Yuta Okamura, Shiori Ito, Keke Shiratama, Yuichiro Otsuka


Ema Ryan Yamazaki


Mark degli Antoni


Shiori Ito


Sundance, SXSW, CPH:DOX, San Francisco, Hot Docs, Sydney 2024


When 28-year-old aspiring journalist Shiori Ito goes public in May 2017 with her rape allegation against a well-known media figure and biographer of then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, she feels she has no other choice but to try to change Japan’s antiquated sexual assault laws. In a society where speaking up on such matters is considered shameful, her press conference shocks the public.  

Within days, Ito is swept into the centre of Japanese politics – the right views her as a threat to the Abe government and the left hails her a hero for the same reason. Death threats, cyberbullying, and hate mail take Ito into a downward spiral. When she files a civil case, the accused wages an all-out war against her. Determined not to set a bad example for other victims, Ito pushes on and publishes a book about her experience.  

Directed by Ito herself, Black Box Diaries captures her tumultuous, heart-wrenching, and ultimately triumphant journey, going behind the headlines to reveal what has been like to walk in her shoes. It reveals the toll that politics, media, and technology takes on the humanity of individuals. Being both a victim and a journalist, the documentary shows that Ito did this to not only create a great social change, but to keep herself alive. 

“We’ve seen many #MeToo-themed documentaries… but not one quite like Japanese journalist Shiori Ito’s fearless, deeply personal procedural. In her nonfiction debut (based on her own 2017 memoir), Ito bravely investigates a harrowing case of sexual violence – in which she was the victim – to bring her powerful assailant to justice. And as she pieces together inarguable evidence, crosses paths with the sympathetically helpful and the corrupt, and exposes the paralysing roots of patriarchy in Japan, her revolutionary story is a reminder of how far the world still has to go when it comes to believing women, and of the trauma survivors of such criminal acts endure in their aftermath. Black Box Diaries is a generous, courageous, and ultimately hopeful film end to end, cementing Ito – named by Time as one of the world’s most influential people in 2020 – as a significant new voice.” Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar