2013 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards




Miyako Akina Fuqua had spent the first 11 years of her life growing up on US Army bases around Tokyo and Seoul. Upon her father retiring, her family moved to Bloomington, IN. Miyako found Bloomington to stimulate her creativity, which inspired her first original screenplay while in high school. Graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington with a degree in Japanese Languages and Cultures, Miyako was offered a job teaching English in Japan but elected to decline the offer in hopes of becoming a screenwriter. Miyako had been participating in contests for several years until a producer discovered her query letter in late 2010. Since then, she had visited Los Angeles and met with a producer, agent, and other inspiring people. In summer 2012, Miyako moved to Los Angeles in hopes of creating and solidifying many more connections. A few months later, Juntobox Films of which Forest Whitaker is co-chairman, optioned her script, Barcode Man.

Studying atomic bomb literature during her college career, Miyako was inspired to focus her writings on the humanity of political scenarios and aftermath stories, exploring themes of sustaining one’s quality of life and maintaining dignity through creating adventure.



An atomic bomb survivor struggles to forget his past until he meets a student who gives him the power to create new memories and move forward with his life.

Barcode Man is an aftermath story of an extraordinary circumstance centered around MINORU who suffers from reliving the tragedy which took place on August 6, 1945, infamously known as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Minoru, a Japanese citizen who is new to America and has recently started a job at a convenient store, goes to work one morning. His BOSS orders him to train a new employee, SAKI, who is a half black and Japanese student visiting African American relatives in Los Angeles. After she proves herself worthy to Minoru and defends him from a rude customer which allows them to develop a strong friendship. Soon after, Minoru finds out his childhood friend and former lover, SAKURA, had passed away which triggers a suicide attempt. Saki comes to his rescue and reveals that she knows he is a hibakusha (an atomic bomb survivor) who have historically suffered discrimination in Japan. In turn, Minoru reveals the origin of his nickname, Barcode Man, explaining it originated from the scars on his head resulting from an injury during the bombing. She shares she too has suffered discrimination for being multiracial. While spending quality time together, Minoru enjoys life in the present with Saki and creates new memories to replace the old, allowing him to move on from his tragic past. At work Saki overhears their boss terminating Minoru. Because of her loyalty to Minoru, Saki volunteers to quit in order for Minoru to continue his livelihood. Although able to keep his job, Minoru realizes to maintain his dignity he must gather the courage to quit. In that moment, Saki helps Minoru in realizing his dream of owning his own pickle business, but the only way to accomplish such a feat, Minoru knows he needs to obtain his U.S. citizenship. After he passes his test, Minoru takes the necessary steps towards opening the pickle business. During Minoru’s debut at the local farmer’s market , he meets Saki’s Aunt who informs him Saki is already enroute to Japan. He catches her at her relatives’ house so that they can say their tearful goodbyes. He informs her that she is his favorite memory.

This film is unique and makes a contribution to society as an American Japanese speaking film because not only is it a historical account of the atomic bombing but it also provides a different take on what it means to be an American. In a society which idolizes people for superficial reasons, Minoru, an atomic bomb survivor, presents admirable, humanistic characteristics and a courage that is seldom found within people today.

As an inadvertent advocate for atomic bomb survivors I would like to preserve a piece of history not just for the essence of a person’s past but also for a historical event. Barcode Man disproves the misconception of the bombings solely being a part of Japanese history. On the contrary, it is equally a part of American history even though American citizens did not suffer the direct effect of the bombing. The decisions political leaders made in the past concerning the usage of nuclear weapons influence our present and determine our future circumstances not as a separate nation but as a global society.