‘A Flicker in Eternity’ to Premiere at JANM

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Stanley Hayami and his wartime journal.

Visual Communications will conclude the first season of its ongoing screening series “Border Crossings” with the world premiere of Ann Kaneko and Sharon Yamato’s “A Flicker in Eternity,” which chronicles the life and times of Stanley Hayami (1925-1945).

The screening will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

Hayami was a student from San Gabriel who attended high school at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming. He left Heart Mountain in June 1944 to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army and was killed in combat in northern Italy on April 23, 1945, while trying to help a fellow soldier. He was only 19 years old.

Based on Hayami’s diary and letters archived at JANM, “A Flicker in Eternity” tells the true story of a talented teenager caught between his dream of becoming an artist and his duty to his country. This coming-of-age tale chronicles Hayami’s life behind barbed wire and as a soldier.

Co-directors Kaneko (“Overstay,” “Against the Grain”) and Yamato (“Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn”), working with producer Joanne Oppenheim (author of “Stanley Hayami: Nisei Son” as well as the well-regarded “Dear Miss Breed”), drew from Hayami’s diary and letters to his family to capture his humor and imagination through endearing cartoons and witty observations that provide a first-hand look at the indignity of incarceration and the tragedy of war.

The film also utilizes the vocal talents of noted actors Amy Hill and Aaron Yoo to bring to life the musings of Hayami and his sister Sach.

Veteran film/television editor Walt Louie contributed to the finished film, which includes animated sequences produced by local artists Daisy Lin, Jose Acosta, and Hedy Yudaw.

“In many ways, the story of Stanley Hayami is quite similar to that of Anne Frank,” said Yamato. “He dealt with the pain of isolation and impending sacrifice with a mix of humor and insightfulness that shone through the source materials we worked with. We hope that our film brings out the spirit of Stanley’s writings and is embraced by all who screen it.”

“A Flicker in Eternity” is presented in association with JANM, supported by the California  Civil Liberties Public Education Program, Japanese American Community Services, and an Artists’ Resources for Completion grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Parking is available at City Lot #7 (enter on Judge John Aiso Street, adjacent to the David Henry Hwang Theatre). Thanks to Target Family Day, admission to the museum is free all day Saturday.

Established in 1970, Visual Communications is the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts organization and is dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of Asian Pacific American peoples, communities and heritage through the media arts. VC promotes intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans.

For more information, contact VC at info@vconline.org, or (213) 680-4462 or visit the event page at www.janm.org.

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