SAN FRANCISCO — The Nichi Bei Foundation will present the 11th annual Films of Remembrance on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27.
This showcase of films commemorates the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans in American concentration camps during World War II. The screenings will include panel discussions with filmmakers.
Saturday, Feb. 26
12 a.m.: Special Free Rental
• “Solving a 78-year-old Mystery: The Wakasa Memorial,” edited by Emiko Omori. The mystery of the memorial dedicated to James Wakasa, who was murdered by a guard at the Topaz concentration camp in Utah, is solved as a researcher comes across a map in the National Archives. Researcher Nancy Ukai and archaeologist Mary Farrell discuss its discovery, its controversial removal, and what it means for Japanese America.
11 a.m. screening / 12:15 p.m. discussion
“Artistic Interpretations” Shorts Program
• “Hanami” (2020, 4 min.) by Lisa Maeda. A young girl trapped within incarceration laments her dull surroundings. Bored, she chooses to paint flowers to contrast the lifeless environment around her. Her colorful creations, inspired by Japanese traditional wagara patterns, come to life and light up her world.
• “An Uninterrupted View of the Sea” (2020, 15 min.) by Mika Yatsuhashi. Using old photographs, Super 8mm film and FBI documents, a Japanese American filmmaker tells the story of her family’s struggle to prove their American identities during World War II. Yatsuhashi explores the effect of her family’s Japanese immigrant history on her American identity today.
• “Sansei Granddaughters Journey” (2020, 28 min.) by Shari Arai DeBoer, Ellen Bepp, Reiko Fujii, Kathy Fujii-Oka, Na Omi Judy Shintani. Five San Francisco Bay Area artists embark on a road trip to the 2018 Manzanar Pilgrimage. The result is this moving documentary that explores their family stories of incarceration and the effect on their art.
• “Sincerely Miné Okubo” (2021, 13 min.) by Yuka Murakami. A short biographical film on Japanese American artist and illustrator Miné Okubo, who authored the seminal graphic memoir “Citizen 13660” (1946), which chronicled the incarceration experience at Tanforan and Topaz, Utah.
2 p.m. screening / 3:15 p.m. discussion
• “Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp” (2021, 57 min.) by Rory Banyard/Northshore Productions. This film tells the story of survivors of Minidoka, a concentration camp in the Idaho desert. The film explores the unconstitutional suspension of their civil rights during World War II and the long-lasting impact of the incarceration on their community.
Sunday, Feb. 27
11 a.m. screening / 12 p.m. discussion
“Righting Civil Wrongs” Shorts Program
• “We Came Back for You” (2021, 7 min.) by Akira Boch and Taiji Terasaki. A film based on a poem of the same name by Satsuki Ina, connecting the travesty of democracy then to the present-day crisis occurring on the U.S.-Mexico border.
• “Putting Them Where They Could Do No Harm” (2021, 8 min.) by Steve Nagano. Then-Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron used his weekly radio show to fuel the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry. Now is the time to remove his name from the square that honors him.
• “Reparations” (2021, 30 min.) by Jon Osaki. This film explores the four-century struggle to seek repair and atonement for slavery in the U.S., including the critical role that solidarity between communities has in acknowledging and addressing systemic racism in America.
2 p.m. screening / 3:30 p.m. discussion
• “Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories From Hawai‘i” (2018, 78 min.) by Ryan Kawamoto. While the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II has been well documented on the U.S. mainland, new information about the sites and untold stories continue to emerge from Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i.
5 p.m. screening / 6:35 p.m. discussion
• “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust” by Ann Kaneko (2021, 84 min.). From the majestic peaks of the snow-capped Sierras to the parched valley of Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” this film poetically weaves together memories of intergenerational women. Native Americans, Japanese American World War II incarcerees and environmentalists form an unexpected alliance to defend their land and water from Los Angeles.
$15 per group of video-on-demand rental films or feature-length film.
$50 for All-Event Pass (all films above). Students free with ID.
Films available to screen from Feb. 26-27 to March 13.
Proceeds benefit the Wayne Maeda Educational Fund.
For tickets or more infomration, go to www.filmsofremembrance.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 294-4655.