Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Film Screenings Past Events


Saturday, January 27, 2018
12:30 PM

Film Screening and Discussion—Unsettled: Two Films of Japanese Peru


The Japanese diaspora in Peru has its roots in a vital and restless history that extends back to arrival of the first migrant laborers at Lima’s Callao Seaport. In this program presented in conjunction with Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo, two filmmakers take personal journeys into the Japanese Peruvian experience, uncovering captivating stories of migrants and artists, dissidents and dictators.

Kaori Flores Yonekura’s Nikkei (2011) is an exploration of the filmmaker’s family history in the Americas, while Ann Kaneko’s Against the Grain (2008) documents the work of four artists who defy decades of civil war and tyranny to reimagine Peruvian visual culture. Among those artists is Eduardo Tokeshi, whose work is featured in Transpacific Borderlands.

This program is curated by Renee Tajima-Peña, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA who will moderate a Q&A with Kaneko and Tokeshi following the screening.

Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Read an interview with filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña about her thoughts on the program, cultural hybridity, the immigrant experience, Asian diasporas, indie film, and other topics.

Read a 2010 interview with Kaori Flores Yonekura about her film on Discover Nikkei.

Saturday, January 20, 2018
2:00 PM

Film Screening and Q&A—Mifune: The Last Samurai


Mifune: The Last Samurai, a new film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, explores the accidental movie career of Toshiro Mifune, one of the true giants of world cinema.

Mifune made 16 remarkable films with director Akira Kurosawa during the golden age of Japanese cinema, including Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), and Yojimbo (1961). Together they thrilled audiences and influenced filmmaking around the world, providing direct inspiration for the iconic 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven; Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood’s breakout 1964 movie, A Fistful of Dollars; and even George Lucas’ 1977 blockbuster hit, Star Wars.

The filmmaker will be present for a Q&A following the screening.

Included with museum admission. RSVPs are strongly recommended using the link below.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Please note that the 2018 Women’s March takes place in downtown Los Angeles on the morning of January 20. Street closures will be in place and traffic and parking may be affected.

Saturday, December 9, 2017
2:00 PM

Film Screening and Discussion—Moving Walls: American Nightmare to American Dream


Join us for the LA premiere of a new documentary about what became of the barracks built to house 11,000 Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain concentration camp. The film features interviews with former prisoners as well as the people who live in and use the structures today.

Filmmaker Sharon Yamato is also the author of the recently updated book, Moving Walls: The Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps, which originally came out in 1994 to document the moving of two Heart Mountain barracks to the Japanese American National Museum. The book, which is available for purchase at the JANM Store and, includes a new section about what happened to the barracks after the camp closed. It also features dramatic photography by nationally acclaimed photojournalist Stan Honda. A Q&A with Yamato and Honda will follow the screening.

Included with museum admission. Free for JANM and Visual Communications members. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Co-sponsored by Visual Communications.

The DVD and the book are both available at the JANM Store.

Read about Sharon Yamato’s quest to find barracks in her 2015 article on Discover Nikkei.

Saturday, November 18, 2017
2:00 PM

Film Screening and Discussion—A Bitter Legacy


Inside the World War II camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated, secret prisons were created for those considered “troublemakers” and “collaborators” by the US government.

Claudia Katayanagi’s film looks at these “citizen isolation centers,” now considered precursors to Guantanamo, and examines their legacy.

Discussion with the filmmaker to follow. Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Saturday, September 30, 2017
2:00 PM

Film Screening and Discussion—Hidden Histories: The Story and Legacy of Japanese American WWII Incarceration


Hidden Histories is a touring program of five short narrative films about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Each film tells a personal story that dramatizes a different aspect of this history.

Hidden Histories commemorates an important chapter in American history at the same time that it serves as a cautionary tale; although the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians declared in 1982 that the Japanese American incarceration was “motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership,” our nation is at risk of repeating those mistakes. Hidden Histories reminds us of the profound cost of abandoning our ideals of an inclusive society and equal protection under the law.

Discussion with the filmmakers to follow the screening. Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Saturday, July 29, 2017
2:00 PM

Film Screening and Q&A—Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice (Part 1)


Join us for the LA premiere of this new documentary by Holly Yasui tracing the early life of her father, the noted civil rights activist Minoru Yasui.

Born in 1916 to Japanese immigrant parents, Yasui was raised in the farming community of Hood River, Oregon, and became that state’s first Japanese American attorney. During the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans by the US government, he set up a practice to help the Japanese immigrant community with their legal needs. He also decided to make himself into a legal test case by purposely violating the curfew that had been imposed on Japanese Americans; he took his appeals all the way to the Supreme Court.

This film, the first of a two-part documentary, ends with Yasui and his family’s experiences during the war. The presentation will include a preview of the forthcoming Part Two, which will cover Yasui’s postwar life as a relentless civil rights activist, a leader in the Japanese American Redress movement, and the posthumous winner in 2015 of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Q&A to follow with Holly Yasui. Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Read a 2015 article by Holly Yasui about the film on Discover Nikkei.




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