6.9/10
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3 user

History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige (1991)

Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri's family was among the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese ... See full summary »

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Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri's family was among the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And like so many who were in the camps, Tajiri's 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). The film draws from a variety of sources: Hollywood spectacle, government propaganda, newsreels, memories of the living, and... Written by Women Make Movies

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10 April 1991 (USA)  »

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History and Memory  »

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An insightful and interesting documentary
24 February 2002 | by (Champaign, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Quite honestly, I had no expectations for this movie before I saw it, but I admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This story about a woman's quest to uncover a hidden piece of her history made me re-evaluate the way I think about America's past. I was surprised after I saw the movie how many people were upset that they thought the film hand-fed them the story of the Japanese internment during WWII. In reality, the documentary was a statement of historical fact. The winners write the history, and for many years, American historians have brushed passed this time in our past. Tajiri compiled a history of her family and other internees - documenting their history with the hope that it will be remembered as well. This movie isn't trying to force history on the viewers, but to create a documentation of history where one didn't exist before - and to make sure it is remembered.


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