Jesse Dizon and Shizuko Hoshi in a scene from “Gold Watch.”

The UCLA Library Film & Television Archive will present a virtual screening of “Gold Watch” on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m.

Momoko Iko’s acclaimed “Gold Watch,” which first aired on PBS as part of the “Visions” series on Nov. 11, 1976, represents one of the first dramas to realistically examine the trauma caused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 of Feb. 19, 1942, which led to the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans, and legal immigrants from Japan, during World War II.

Informed by her own experience of being incarcerated at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming at age two, Iko’s semi-autobiographical play dramatizes the plight of a hard-working Japanese American family living in the Pacific Northwest that struggles to come to terms with the unjust and unwarranted government order that will strip them of their freedom and property simply because of their racial identity.

The devastating play serves to both document the racism endured by Japanese Americans during the war and illuminate the immeasurable toll of the still-present psychological pressures imposed on people of color in the U.S. by an American society that often demands cultural subjugation.

Produced by television pioneer Barbara Schultz and directed by African American theater legend Lloyd Richards (recipient of the National Medal of Arts Lifetime Achievement Award), Iko’s groundbreaking drama is further elevated by transcendent lead performances from the married acting couple of Shizuko Hoshi and Mako (Academy Award nominee for “The Sand Pebbles”). The cast also includes Jesse Dizon and Mariel Aragon.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Valerie Matsumoto, holder of the George and Sakaye Aratani Chair in Japanese American Incarceration, Redress and Community at UCLA, and Brian Niiya, content director for Densho, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to deepen understandings of American history and inspire action for equity.

Mako (right) and Soon-Teck Oh in a scene from “Gold Watch.”

Introduction and post-screening panel moderated by Karen Umemoto, Helen and Morgan Chu Chair and director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Program notes written by John H. Mitchell Television Curator Mark Quigley.

Total program runtime, including discussion: 120 minutes.

Preserved from the original videotape by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television. Video transfer at DC Video. Engineering services by David Crosthwait. Use of “Visions” courtesy of KCETLink.

Special thanks to community partner, UCLA Nikkei Student Union.

Free. To RSVP, go to: https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2021/09/02/visions-gold-watch

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.