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Very good commercial narrative film about the Japanese Internment.
This film premiered Sunday at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. While there have been a number of excellent documentaries on this subject, this is the first commercial film I have seen which has the potential for such broad appeal with American audiences. The director has assembled a wonderful cast of actors--both veterans and new, young actors. Gary Cole gives a subtle, but authentic performance as the military supervisor of the camp. Excellent supporting roles by Seth Sakai,Sarah Drew,Judy Ongg and Susanna Thompson add to the vitality of this ensemble. Newcomers Aaron Yoo and Leonardo Nam as the Namuro brothers are impressive. Not enough good things can be said about the Japanese veteran actor, Masatoshi Nakamura, who plays the father of the Namuro family. It is a dynamic performance and his character is the strength of this story. Shot on location in Utah, the film delivers a hard look at the Topaz internment camp and the realities of the daily lives of the interns and their captors. The mixture of period archival footage frames the story for the audience whose knowledge of the subject is minimal. Using baseball and jazz as a narrative device, this is a film the children and grandchildren of the World War II generation need to see.
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