“Warning Shot: The Killing of James Wakasa” (2015, 13 min.) by Tina Takemoto. One death. Three versions of the crime. James Wakasa, a 63-year-old Japanese American bachelor, was shot to death by military police at Topaz incarceration camp during WWII. Was it justifiable homicide, an accidental fatality, or second-degree murder?
The narrative shorts allow us to step back in time — creating a visceral experience of the sparse living quarters and barren desert, capturing the camaraderie and fractures that develop, and drawing us into the emotions of the characters. It is encouraging to see younger filmmakers remain connected to the stories of their ancestors.