Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case (2023) Movie Review – Who was Joji Obara?

Who was Joji Obara?

It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied but it doesn’t really stand true in the case of serial rapist Joji Obara, who not only committed the vilest crimes but also got away with most of them with a mere punishment of life in prison.

The most recent Netflix documentary – Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case follows the story of a 21-year-old British national, Lucie who went missing in Japan. After working as a flight attendant, Lucie ends up moving to Japan where she starts working at a Hostess bar.

The profession of being a bar hostess is eye-grabbing to many but working at a Hostess bar has been a part of Japanese culture for a long time.  A  club employs female staff and caters to men seeking drinks and attentive conversation. The pay includes having drinks with men.

The incident of Lucie’s disappearance takes place after one such interaction at the hostess bar she worked at. The documentary focuses more on Lucie going missing, how her family handled the incident, how the Japanese police dealt with the case and what the media did to the culprit behind Lucie’s rape and murder.

The film does do a good job at explaining the profession Lucie was in but does not make being a bar hostess her entire personality either. Lucie’s father, Tim Blackman, is a force and it is endearing to see how he and his family fought for years to see justice for Lucie which eventually led to the culprit – Joji Obara.

Joji Obara was a Korean-Japanese serial rapist accused of sexually assaulting between 120 to 400 women. The maniac also had diary entries and videotapes that found him culpable for a handful of the many crimes he committed over his life as a free man.

The testimonies highlight that Obara was a drug user fixated on white women with two of his most sensational victims being the Australian model Carita Ridgway, and Lucie Blackman. Obara had a pattern of criminal behaviour where he would administer drugs to women and render them unconscious before abducting and raping them on tape.

The police were able to recover 400 of his videotapes depicting him sexually assaulting women and shockingly, it’s believed that Obara raped anywhere from 150 to 400 women. Obara’s extensive journals also detail the nature of his crimes and how he treated women like conquests.

The documentary movie highlights the problem with the criminal justice system and how it took the Blackman family so many years to seek justice for their daughter who had been violated by a criminal. It is also evident too, that the crime could have easily been avoided if the Japanese police took the reports from Obara’s victims seriously given the heights to which he eventually went.

While the delay in justice makes your blood boil, Tim’s dedication to finding his daughter and the Blackman family’s pain will make you emotional in this gripping documentary.

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  • Verdict - 8.5/10

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