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  • 134 mins

Due to the vast number of entries this year, the Films of Remembrance Committee could not accommodate many of the films submitted for consideration due to limited programming time at our in-person screenings. However, we thought the following films were worthy enough to include as a special virtual-only program, making them accessible throughout the world. From the rare nature of Monterey, Calif. citizens to publicly welcome Japanese Americans back from concentration camps, to a coming-of-age documentary of a camp survivor-turned-activist, to the heartwarming joys of senior bowlers who continued to bowl in Salt Lake City, Utah into their 90s, these films provide unique glimpses of life after camp. Included films:

  • Enduring Democracy: The Monterey Petition (2022, 67 min.)
  • Namba: A Japanese American’s Incarceration and Life of Resilience (2022, 45 min.)
  • Nisei Bowl (2019, 22 min.)

In this program

Enduring Democracy: The Monterey Petition

Directed by David Schendel

Examines how Monterey was one of the only communities that publicly welcomed their Japanese neighbors back from the incarceration centers after WWII. “Enduring Democracy: the Monterey Petitions” explores the motivations of the wealthy individuals who financed hate campaigns as well as the daring women who spearheaded the carefully thought-out response. Inspired by Mollie Sumida’s letter to the editor written while imprisoned in camp and impervious to threats of violence, residents banded together to get their community to sign Toni Jackson’s petition pledging “The Democratic Way of Life for All.” The petition drive and subsequent posting in The Monterey Herald effectively put a stop to the public efforts of several well-funded fear campaigns against California Japanese American citizens.

Namba: A Japanese American’s Incarceration and Life of Resilience

Directed by Emily Hanako Momohara

A coming-of-age journey in the midst of war and bravery, May Namba goes from the Minidoka concentration camp to become a community organizer, working collaboratively to create community events and spaces for healing and justice. In the film, May, granddaughter Miyako and other members of the Namba family travel to the Minidoka site. Miyako struggles to walk May’s journey. She imagines what she would bring with her in the limited luggage allowed, makes a mattress of hay in a horse stall for a bed, and visits many of the locations that shaped May’s life.

Nisei Bowl

Directed by Alli Nakamura

It’s Wednesday morning at the Bonwood Bowl in Salt Lake City, Utah and the senior bowlers file into their weekly ritual. Strikes, cheers, and candy circle the lanes. The Salt Lake Nisei show how youthful growing old can be. Their spirit and stories weave a history — then and now — of the Japanese American community in Salt Lake City. A heartwarming portrait of age, friendship, and perseverance.