Call It Love

Imagine a white San Francisco so racist that it would become internationally famous in 1906 for taking Japanese schoolchildren out of regular schools and putting them in segregated schools (with Chinese and Korean kids, at the request of the horrid Asiatic Exclusion League), just kinda because. It's not the kind of thing anyone thinks about for fun, granted. Better think about it anyway, or the Tea Partiers win. Sugako Hashida's recent film 99 Years of Love, starring Kenichi Matsuyama and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, takes on the Japanese-American experience, Issei- and Nisei-wise — from a Japanese perspective. What must they think of us over there!? Especially here in San Francisco, where Japanese-Americans have been worked to death, lied about, prevented from owning land, all of the above even before the World War II internment insanity for which the government apologized only in 1988. The film's five episodes contain all that and more as they follow one family from immigration to WWII; they begin (diegetically) and end (chronologically) at a Seattle Mariners' baseball game in 2010, with Ichiro Suzuki holding the screaming crowd in the palm of his talented hand.
April 16-20, 10:30 a.m., 2011

 
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