4 min read

Dr. Bala : Directed by Koby Shimada | Movie Review

Anubhav Chakraborty

April 05, 2023 4 min read

Koby Shimada Explores Humanity and Dedication towards the Greater Good in his latest!


Movie: Dr. Bala

Director: Koby Shimada


“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” –  Martin Luther King Jr.


Dedicating one’s entire life for the sake of the other human beings is a courageous act, and often the people who choose to do good get unnoticed. But their honesty, courage and conviction make the world a better space. Philanthropy is often not found in this cruel bleak world! While most of the people try to stay selfish and consume in their own sweet isolated glory, there are some who act like the ray of sunshine and radiate hope and progress.

In director Koby Shimada’s documentary film Dr. Bala, we meet Dr. Kazuhiro Omura who has dedicated his entire life to the wellbeing of mankind. Omura San has inspired many more ever since he started his welfare acts across Southeast Asia. When Omura was working at a University hospital in Japan, he spent his summer holidays in Southeast Asia as an intern, helping the local doctors there to build their skills and confidence to treat their own people.

He was an ER physician during his journey towards the well being of the people of Southeast Asia. Eventually he came to a realisation that he needs to have more expertise in the field he had been wanting to contribute to. So, after going back to Japan, he started studying and training himself in otolaryngology. These skills that he had acquired over the years, enabled him to train and teach the local doctors of his work field to begin their journey.He also ensured safety for the children and all the people who have suffered greatly.


Koby Shimada, the director, has been a close friend to Omura for a long time. When he encountered what his friend does, he decided to document the work that he does. The documentary is the testament of a bonding that started into the playground and eventually culminated into a film.  A film that documents love, selflessness and dedication. Koby met Dr. Bala when they played rugby together. Their friendship was instant and strong. Upon knowing how passionate the doctor is regarding his field and patients, Koby decided to record his journey. He started filming his friend’s works for the sake of memory. Eventually he focused on creating and documenting his endeavours to have a source of inspiration in this selfish world.

Dr. Bala’s life captures how his cultural identity is not something that keeps him at the back, rather it breaks down the rigid walls that have surrounded our society and hindered our growth. What makes one wonder regarding Dr. Bala is how he focused on a holistic approach and inclusivity. Not only he travelled across nations to treat his patients, but also he took on the duty of a teacher who thought beyond his own good. Apart from treating patients, Dr. Bala also trained the medical professionals on how to be better contributors. 

The movie is also an extension of Shimada’s point of view. As an artist, Shimada believes in kindness and hope amidst the darkness, and meeting Kazuhiro Omura was a delight for him. As a storyteller, it is evident that Koby believes in the visual medium. He agrees that speech is not his strength, but it is undeniable that like any good weaver, Koby too, has the ability to create a marvellous story. His film has a strong cinematography that reaches out to the audience and makes them relate to the content. The lingering effect of the film stays long after the spectators leave the theatre and this is where Koby absolutely wins. His film ensures that despite all the murky scenarios, the good still prevails. 

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