Redress Documentary ‘Right of Passage’ to Screen at USC

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Filmmakers Nancy Araki and Janice Tanaka at the National Press Club.

Filmmakers Nancy Araki and Janice Tanaka at the National Press Club.

Hailed as the most comprehensive film on Japanese American redress, “Right of Passage,” produced and directed by USC Cinematic Arts alumna Janice D. Tanaka and co-produced by former Japanese American National Museum executive Nancy K. Araki, will be presented free of charge by USC’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

The documentary, funded with the support of Nitto Tire Company, includes never-before-seen images and footage from the National Archives and features many luminaries of the redress movement, including: Former Rep. Norman Y. Mineta (D-San Jose), who later became U.S. secretary of commerce and secretary of transportation; former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan; former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean; former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.); Joan Bernstein, chair of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC); CWRIC researcher Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga; Miya Iwataki, Rose Ochi, Ron Ikejiri, John Tateishi, Grant Ujifusa and many others who worked tirelessly in the 1970s and 1980s to win redress for Japanese American incarcerated during World War II.

“Right of Passage” takes viewers on the dramatic, oftentimes contentious 40-year journey that divided the community, split Congress, and overcame a veto threat by President Reagan.

With support from Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), the film first premiered in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club in the fall of 2015 and received high praise as well as stirred debate when Gerald Yamada, former head of the Japanese American Veterans Association, published a review in The Pacific Citizen. The film’s writer and editor, Sreescanda, also an alum of the USC School Cinematic Arts, wrote a rebuttal addressing every point of contention.

The film is featured as part of a series of films by alumni and faculty and is free and open to the public.

Following the film will be a panel featuring the director and redress activists Phil Shigekuni and Alan Nishio. The screening location is the Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building Lobby, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th St. in Los Angeles. Parking on campus is $12.

Electronic reservations for the screening can be made through the USC Cinematic Arts website: http://cinema.usc.edu/events/reservation.cfm?id=15489

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