Nihonmachi Asian American Film Retrospective Aug. 13-14


Nihonmachi Asian American Film Retrospective during Street Fair Aug. 13-14


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: or Kenji G. Taguma at (415) 673-1009

A Nihonmachi Asian American Film Retrospective, featuring a selection of award-winning classics and new films, will be held on the weekend of Aug. 13-14, with screenings beginning from 2 p.m. at Viz Cinema, located at 1746 Post St. in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.
The film retrospective, sponsored by the Nichi Bei Foundation and curated by Chizu Omori, coincides with the 38th annual Nihonmachi Street Fair, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

Valor with Honor

The series will begin with a screening of Burt Takeuchi’s Valor With Honor (2011), an independent film on the last interviews of veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team composed of Japanese American soldiers — the most decorated American unit for its size and length of service. They talk about their World War II experiences in Italy, their heroic rescue of the “Lost Battalion,” the breaking of the Gothic Line, and the liberation of the Dachau Nazi death camp.

Rabbit in the Moon

Featured will be San Francisco’s own filmmaker, Emiko Omori, with “Rabbit in the Moon,” the 1999 Sundance Film Festival award-winning story of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Fifty years later, acclaimed filmmaker Omori asks her older sister Chizu and other detainees to reflect on the personal and political consequences of their wartime incarceration, including the simmering rage of citizens forced to sign loyalty oaths.

Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World

Emiko Omori’s newest film, “Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World” (2010), is a biography of the San Francisco artist and tattoo master. The influence of Chinese and Japanese art in his art and tattooing is a highlight of this film about an artist’s journey, his unexpected rise to cult status and his phenomenal influence on pop culture. With one foot in the world of tattooing and the other planted in the fine arts, each informed the other. Preceded by the short film “2000 Dragons,” by Emiko Omori.

The Fall of the I Hotel

Also to be shown is Curtis Choy’s “The Fall of the I Hotel” (1983), a film about the momentous and tragic 10-year struggle to save the historic Manilatown’s International Hotel from destruction. It was a coalition of Asian American activists who participated in this fight, and eventually, the elderly residents were forcibly removed. A story of multiple tragedies including ethnic communities redeveloped out of existence, housing gobbled up by realtors and the shabby treatment of the elderly. Preceded by the short film “Silencio,” by Michael Arago. Poetry and Q&A with former I-Hotel resident Peter Yamamoto follows the screening.

The Cats of Mirikitani

The retrospective ends with Linda Hattendorf’s “The Cats of Mirikitani” (2006), the story of 80-year-old artist Jimmy Mirikitani, who survived the trauma of World War II concentration camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past. A film about loss, friendship, and the human spirit, the film won the Audience Award at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Preceded by “Fu-De: The Brush,” by Charlie Corriea.

Emiko Omori and Burt Takeuchi will be present to answer audience questions about their films. Some DVDs will be available for purchase.

The cost for each film screening is $10. Partial proceeds from the festival will go to the Nichi Bei Foundation, publishers of the nonprofit Nichi Bei Weekly community newspaper. The Nichi Bei Foundation is a fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives.

For more information, visit, call (415) 673-1009 or e-mail:


Saturday, Aug. 13
2 p.m. Valor With Honor
5:30 p.m. Rabbit in the Moon
8 p.m. Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World

Sunday, Aug. 14
2 p.m. Valor With Honor
5:30 p.m. The Fall of the I Hotel
8 p.m. The Cats of Mirikitani

One response to “Nihonmachi Asian American Film Retrospective Aug. 13-14”

  1. henry Mittwer Avatar
    henry Mittwer

    I live in Kyoto Japan new but I was in camp during ww2 Manzanar .Hila Rivers Arizona. Topaz Utah, Tule Lake , Seebrook Farms New Jursey. . How Is every one who was in those camps. Henry Mittwer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See the 2024 CAAMFest