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Emiko Omori ...
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Chizuko Omori ...
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Frank Emi ...
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Aiko Yoshinaga-Herzig ...
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Harry Ueno ...
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James Hirabayashi ...
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Hisaye Yamamoto
Shosuke Sasaki
Ernest Besig ...
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Mits Koshiyama
Frank Miyamoto ...
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James Omura ...
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January 1999 (USA)  »

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Like attending a funeral
21 July 2000 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

Rabbit In The Moon, which I saw at the 1999 SXSW Film Festival but which also aired on PBS, is Emiko Omori's elegiac documentary/memory trip about Japanese "internment camps" during World War II in America. These were, of course, concentration camps, but the internees were ashamed at the time to use the words, because of the inevitable connotations they bring up. Simultaneously, Rabbit In The Moon examines both the general impact of these camps upon Japanese and Japanese-Americans (there really is a significant difference) and the specific impact upon Emiko Omori's family. Omori (who served as assistant cameraman on another elegiac film, Barbara Sonnebaum's Regret To Inform) interviews her family and other former internees. She's obviously making this movie for herself, rather than for her audience, which is the challenge for the audience. Compelling interviews and old propaganda footage will only get you so far, and after a while, attending somebody's self-exorcism gets a wee bit boring. Still, an important documentary, one of a very few on the subject.


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