‘Race & Space in L.A.’ at JANM

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A scene from “Manzanar” (1971), a documentary by Robert Nakamura.

Echo Park Film Center presents “Race & Space in Los Angeles,” Part 6 of a series, on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the plaza in front of the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

This installment turns its focus towards L.A.’s Asian American community, beginning with a USC student-made production, “The Challenge” (1957, Claude Bache), which exposes the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II but does so from an assimilationist perspective put forth by the Japanese Americans Citizens League, which at the time was promoting a platform leaning towards adopting American ideologies rather than retaining Japanese ones.

As counterpoint, the program features some 1970s films from the collective of Asian American filmmakers known as Visual Communications, who made films from the viewpoint of the Asian artist rather than simply Asian as subject. One such film, “Manzanar” (1971, Robert Nakamura), addresses the camp experience from a much different perspective.

The program will also include additional films from VC that explore the topic of identity and collective memory as they resonate within the Asian American community.

Free and open to the public. Program partners: JANM, VC, California Humanities (a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities), and the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at USC.

For more information, visit www.echoparkfilmcenter.org.

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