2020 Films of Remembrance


NEW this year: In both San Francisco and San Jose Japantowns

Screenings • Discussions with Filmmakers and Panelists

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

New People Cinema, 1746 Post St., S.F. Japantown
Filmmakers Reception: 8 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020
11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin
640 N. Fifth St., San Jose Japantown
Partial Proceeds to benefit the Betsuin’s Generations campaign

Artistic Interpretations

• “Topaz: Ten Meditations” (2018, 9 min.) by Sean Morijiro Sunada O’Gara. This film explores themes of displacement, loss and longing for home from the perspective of an imagined young detainee. The avant-garde work is a completely silent visual composition consisting of poetry and ten stop-motion sequences of an unusual visceral quality.

“Kikan: The Homecoming” by Kerwin Berk, Kealani Kitaura, Ben Arikawa

• “Kikan: The Homecoming” (2019, 40 min.) by Kerwin Berk, Kealani Kitaura, Ben Arikawa. A wartime promise takes Pvt. Jimmy Ibata of the 442nd RCT on a life-changing from the battlefields of Europe to San Francisco to complete his final mission of the war. Featuring Ryan Takemiya, Anna Sun, Ken Takeda, Kealoha Nakamura, Miyoko Sakatani, Roji Oyama, Chizu Omori, Connie Rutherford and Hiroshi Kashiwagi.

11 a.m. — Sat., Feb. 22, New People Cinema, S.F.

4:30 p.m. — Sun., Feb. 23, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

Lessons for Today

“Resettled Roots: Legacies of Japanese Americans in Chicago” by Anna Takada and Maria Pimentel

• “Resettled Roots: Legacies of Japanese Americans in Chicago” (2019, 33 min.) by Anna Takada and Maria Pimentel. “Resettled Roots” is a historical documentary that examines the vast migration of Japanese Americans to Chicago following their unconstitutional incarceration during WWII.

“Tsuru for Solidarity History” by Emiko Omori

• “Tsuru for Solidarity History” (2019, 16 min.) edited by Emiko Omori. A compilation documenting the growing movement by Japanese Americans to speak out against U.S. concentration camps.

“Then Becoming Now” by Emiko Omori

• “Then Becoming Now” (2019, 24 min.) by Emiko Omori. The journey of three men who went from prison inmates to social activists. Seventy-seven years ago Hiroshi “Shim” Shimizu, Kaz Naganuma, and Hiroshi Fukuda met as toddlers in the Crystal City detention camp. Today, their childhood experiences motivate them to join the protest of current immigration policies of detaining and separating families in concentration camps so reminiscent of their own childhood.

12:40 p.m. — Sat., Feb. 22, New People Cinema, S.F.

6 p.m. — Sun. Feb. 23, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

Art Inspired by the Camps

• “Cherry Blossom” (2019, 3 min.) by Noble Vision Films, Sam Pablo. In honor of 120,000 Japanese Americans forcibly incarcerated during WWII, and especially their fellow classmates from Anaheim High School in 1942, the Anaheim High School Dance Production Class and Director Oscar Gonzalez presented this dance piece.

“Masters of Modern Design (The Art of the Japanese American Experience” by Akira Boch

• “Masters of Modern Design (The Art of the Japanese American Experience” (2019, 57 min.) by Akira Boch (produced by KCET and JANM’s Watase Media Arts Center). This film tells the story of five legendary artists — Ruth Asawa (artist), Gyo Obata (architect), Isamu Noguchi (sculptor), George Nakashima (furniture designer), and S. Neil Fujita (graphic designer). It explores the ways in which their camp experiences impacted their lives, influenced their art, and sent them on trajectories that eventually led to them changing the face of American culture with their immense talents.

3:30 p.m. — Sat., Feb. 22, New People Cinema, S.F.

11:30 a.m. — Sun., Feb. 23, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

Untold Stories

“Crystal City Pilgrimage” by Alan Kondo

• “Crystal City Pilgrimage” (2019, 16 min.) by Alan Kondo. Crystal City was the largest multinational family concentration camp, holding not only Japanese Americans, but thousands of Japanese who were kidnapped by the U.S. government from 13 Latin American countries. The pilgrimage links this history to the targeting and detention of minority immigrant families by the federal government today.

“Minidoka” by Megumi Nishikura

• “Minidoka” (2019, 14 min.) by Megumi Nishikura. Young Seattle-based activist Joseph Shoji Lachman, who is fourth/fifth generation half-Japanese, sees parallels between his own family’s history and the Trump administration’s attempts to ban Muslims, refugees and immigrants. In order to understand the ordeals his family endured during WWII, Joseph travels on a pilgrimage to the Minidoka concentration camp in Hunt, Idaho.

“Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp” by North Shore Productions

• “Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp” (2019, 30 min.) by North Shore Productions. Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their Pacific Northwest homes during WWII and then put on trains to a concentration camp in the desert of southern Idaho. “Minidoka” examines what happens when a group of Americans are imprisoned solely on the basis of race, and examines the relevance of this story today.

5:10 p.m. — Sat., Feb. 22, New People Cinema, S.F.

1 p.m. — Sun., Feb. 23, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

Songs of Remembrance

“For Joy” by by Julian Saporiti / No-No Boy

• “For Joy” (2019, 15 min.) by Julian Saporiti / No-No Boy. Singer-songwriter and Ph.D. student Julian Saporiti along with his Brown University classmate Erin Aoyama travel to Hawai‘i to meet Joy Teraoka, the singer for the George Igawa Orchestra, a jazz band which formed in the WWII prison camp at Heart Mountain, Wyo. This movie tells Joy’s story and sheds light on a hidden history of the music played during the Japanese American incarceration.

• Special Multimedia Concert by No-No Boy. Songs based upon memories from the concentration camp experience.

7 p.m. — Showcase Presentation*: Sat., Feb. 22, New People Cinema, S.F. (*$25, includes reception)

3:15 p.m. — Sunday, Feb. 23, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin


$10 each session in advance ($12 day of) / $25 “Songs of Remembrance” in S.F. (incl. Reception in S.F.)
$50 for all 5 screenings (limited to first 30), including Filmmakers Reception in S.F. / $40 in San Jose (first 60)
• Nichi Bei members: $10 each / $20 for “Songs of Remembrance” in S.F. / $45 for all 5 in S.F / $35 for all 5 in San Jose
• Students with ID: FREE (limited to first 30 each session in S.F.; limited to first 60 each session in San Jose)

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!
e-mail: programs@nichibeifoundation.org
(415) 294-4655


California Civil Liberties Public Education Program
Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification