Film and Television

Japanese American seniors tell stories through film

In keeping with a long-standing tradition of Asian elders passing down their stories to their children and grandchildren, Visual Communications, a Los Angeles-based Asian American media arts center, created Digital Histories, a project that provides Asian Pacific American older adults the unique opportunity to tell their stories — as directors of their own short films. […]

Activists help shape story in ‘Free Chol Soo Lee’

Chol Soo Lee is a little-known icon of Asian American solidarity whose difficult life inspired many to action. The “Free Chol Soo Lee” documentary film tells his story, as well as the pan-Asian movement that it inspired. The film will be the closing night feature at the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival May 22. Lee, […]

Michelle Yeoh shows Asian immigrant women are ‘Everything’

  Michelle Yeoh was adamant about one script change before committing to “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The main character’s name had to go. She was named Michelle as a love letter to her from the directors. “I’m like ‘No, no, no’ because I believe this person, this character that you’ve written so rich, deserves […]

Japan film ‘Drive My Car’ wins best international feature Oscar

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) — Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” won best international feature at the 94th U.S. Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 27, becoming the first Japanese film in 13 years to bag the prestigious Oscar for the category after having garnered a string of international accolades. “We’ve got it,” Hamaguchi said […]

‘Voices’ brings Hawai‘i story to life

Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, FBI agents appeared at Japanese American homes with guns and bayonets and began arresting Issei immigrants without cause and threw them in local jails. “They just grabbed him,” said Laura Miho, remembering how the FBI took her father, Koichi Iida. “We were all so scared. We […]

A story of many communities in ‘Manzanar Diverted’

Though known as a dusty desert and a site of injustice for Japanese Americans, filmmaker Ann Kaneko delved into the intricate history of water rights and the people of California’s Owens Valley in “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust.” The documentary primarily focuses on the Paiute and Shoshone people who have lived in the region, […]

Four short films take artistic look at camp

Four short films at the 11th annual Films of Remembrance will highlight filmmakers’ artistic interpretations of the wartime experience of Japanese Americans during World War II. Under the Artistic Interpretations Shorts Program, the Nichi Bei Foundation will present “Hanami” (4 min., 2021) by Lisa Maeda; “An Uninterrupted View of the Sea” (15 min., 2020) by […]

Filmmaker seeks to educate about L.A.’s racist past

Former educator and “Putting Them Where They Could Do No Harm” filmmaker Steve Nagano seeks to rename Fletcher Bowron Square, which is named after the former Los Angeles mayor who supported the wartime incarceration of persons of Japanese decent in U.S. concentration camps. The Nichi Bei Weekly interviewed Nagano via e-mail about his short film […]

‘Reparations’ explores struggle to atone for slavery

In Jon Osaki’s film, “Reparations,” Blacks and Asian Americans address the four-century struggle to atone for slavery in the U.S., and discuss the critical role that solidarity between communities plays in addressing systemic racism in America. Osaki, an award-winning filmmaker and director of “Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066,” spoke to the Nichi […]

Japan film ‘Drive My Car’ nominated for best picture, 3 other Oscars

TOKYO — Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s film “Drive My Car” was nominated Feb. 8 in four categories including best picture for the 94th U.S. Academy Awards, becoming the first Japanese film to land the prestigious Oscar nomination. The adaptation of a short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami was also nominated for best director, best adapted screenplay […]

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