Three films will be available to screen virtually from Feb. 25 through March 12 at www.filmsofremembrance.org. In this program:
“Enduring Democracy: The Monterey Petition” (2022, 67 min.) by David Schendel. The film examines how Monterey, Calif. was one of the only communities that publicly welcomed their Japanese neighbors back from the incarceration centers after WWII. It explores the motivations of the wealthy individuals who financed hate campaigns as well as the daring women who spearheaded the carefully thought-out response. Inspired by Mollie Sumida’s letter to the editor written while imprisoned in camp and impervious to threats of violence, residents banded together to get their community to sign Toni Jackson’s petition pledging “The Democratic Way of Life for All.” The petition drive and subsequent posting in The Monterey Herald effectively put a stop to the public efforts of several well-funded fear campaigns against California Japanese American citizens.
“Namba: A Japanese American’s Incarceration and Life of Resilience” (2022, 45 min.) by Emily Hanako Momohara. A coming-of-age journey in the midst of war and bravery, May Namba goes from the Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho to become a community organizer, working collaboratively to create community events and spaces for healing and justice. In the film, May, granddaughter Miyako and other Namba family members travel to the Minidoka site. Miyako struggles to walk May’s journey. She imagines what she would bring with her in the limited luggage allowed, makes a mattress of hay in a horse stall for a bed, and visits many of the locations that shaped May’s life.
“Nisei Bowl” (2019, 22 min.) by Alli Nakamura. It’s Wednesday at the Bonwood Bowl in Salt Lake City, Utah and the senior bowlers file into their weekly ritual. Strikes, cheers, and candy circle the lanes. The Salt Lake Nisei show how youthful growing old can be. Their spirit and stories weave a history — then and now — of the Japanese American community in Salt Lake City. A heartwarming portrait of age, friendship, and perseverance.
More info and tickets: www.filmsofremembrance.org.