Film and Television

Films of Remembrance unveils little-known stories of wartime incarceration

The Nichi Bei Foundation presented its seventh annual Films of Remembrance program, featuring a curated selection of 10 films, Feb. 24 at the New People Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown. The one-day film showcase shed light on once-hidden facets of the Japanese American incarceration experience where some 120,000 people of Japanese decent were imprisoned during […]

Makeup artist Tsuji wins Academy Award with 2 colleagues

LOS ANGELES — Japanese makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji and two of his colleagues won this year’s Academy Award for best makeup and hairstyling on March 4. Tsuji, the first Japanese to receive the award, shared the prize with Britons David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick. The trio was recognized for their work transforming actor Gary Oldman […]

American nightmare turned into American Dream

“Moving Walls” by Sharon Yamato recounts the Japanese American experience at the Heart Mountain, Wyo. concentration camp during World War II, and also discloses what happened after the war to the 457 barracks that had housed more than 10,700 ethnic Japanese from 1942-45. The film describes how young veterans (including one Nisei, Tak Ogawa) seeking […]

Film examines little-known history of incarceration on Hawai‘i Island

Filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto continues his exploration of Hawai‘i’s hidden history with “Voices From Behind Barbed Wire: Stories From Hawai‘i Island,” a follow-up to his 2012 film “The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i.” The short film examines the little-known history of the incarceration of the Japanese population on the Big Island of Hawai‘i […]

‘Never Give Up!’ focuses on civil rights icon Minoru Yasui’s legacy

“Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice,” by Holly Yasui and Will Doolittle, highlights the life of Minoru Yasui, who during World War II intentionally violated Executive Order 9066, the presidential orders that resulted in the incarceration of more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in United States concentration camps. Minoru Yasui, […]

Addressing the silence

Following World War II, Japanese Americans returned home to the West Coast from various concentration camps. The experience, traumatic and humiliating for many former inmates, became a taboo subject for numerous families. Often times, their children would not learn about their incarceration until years later. Marlene Shigekawa, a filmmaker based in Lafayette, Calif., explores that […]

Filmmaker’s childhood inspires movie magic

Filmmaker Ru Kuwahata spent her childhood in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba living in a place that was seemingly conjured up by the minds of Studio Ghibli. While living in an idyllic setting that included a vast rice field with a forest of trees surrounding a comfortable home that appeared to be bulging at its […]

And then they stood up for them

Japanese Americans held a candlelight vigil in San Francisco’s Japantown in November 2016, following the election of President Donald Trump. Abby Ginzberg’s “And Then They Came For Us” opens with this scene as Asian Americans and the Muslim community expressed solidarity following a presidential campaign fraught with xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia. The year-long campaign by […]

Oscar nominees announced

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2018 Oscar nominees Jan. 23. The Asian and Pacific Islander nominees include: • Writing (Original Screenplay): “The Big Sick,” written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani • Short Film (Animated): “Negative Space,” Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata • Documentary (Feature): “Abacus: Small Enough to […]

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders shine on screen amid political turmoil

In a year characterized by countless horrors unfolding across the globe, the realm of Asian American entertainment media offers a surprising — and as such, somewhat disorienting — bright spot. From mainstream film and television to digitally distributed indie films and prestige TV, there’s plenty to celebrate in 2017. In terms of personal enjoyment, I […]

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