Filmmaker Rea Tajiri’s family was among the Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and like so many who were in the camps, her family wrapped their memories of that experience in a shroud of silence and forgetting.
Ruminating on the difficult nature of representing the past – especially a past that exists outside traditional historic accounts – Tajiri blends interviews, memorabilia, a pilgrimage to the camp where her mother was interned, and the story of her father, who had been drafted pre-Pearl Harbor and returned to find his family’s house removed from its site.
Throughout, she surveys the impact of images (real images, desired images made real, and unrealized dream images) from a variety of sources: Hollywood spectacle, government propaganda, newsreels, memories of the living, and sprits of the dead, as well as Tajiri’s own intuitions of a place she has never visited, but of which she has a memory.
More than simply calling attention to the gaps in the story of the Japanese American incarceration, this important film raises questions about collective history – questions that prompt Tajiri to daringly re-imagine and re-create what has been stolen and what has been lost. Previously screened at the Whitney Biennial (1991).
Filmmaker will be in attendance. Doors open at 7:30 pm; $5 admission. For more information, call (213) 484-8846 or visit www.echoparkfilmcenter.org.
This event was supported by A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network. A-Doc is a national network that works to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans in the documentary field.