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The feature documentary 80 YEARS LATER explores the racial inheritance of Japanese American family incarceration during World War II through multigenerational conversations with survivors and their descendants.

On the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans in World War II, families still grapple with the legacy of their experience. How does one inherit traumatic history across generations?

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Director - Celine Parreñas Shimizu

The feature documentary 80 YEARS LATER explores how a Japanese American family continues to grapple with the racial inheritance of family incarceration during World War II.

Multigenerational dialogues help each generation contend with their inheritance—what their ancestors leave, and what they pass on to their descendants. Along the way, the film dramatizes the ongoing legacy of their family imprisonment, learning the importance of not just talking about what happened, but accepting the ambiguity of trauma and loss as a fact they simply feel and explore in their families for generations.

The cinematic language of the film is composed of situating the families in the cities of their displacement and the archival images that explain the significance of those locations to their family's arrival there. A mirror sculpture shows the different meanings of the face for one multigenerational pair while a mother-daughter’s personal relationship is discussed at a site where they created a mural that charts Japanese American historical struggles. The conversations across generations show how they each contend with the inheritance of their histories.

Authorial intervention occurs via five sets of prompts that help guide the viewer to extract the themes of inheritance, its incompleteness and contentiousness as well as its life-giving and devastating forces.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    50 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Celine Parreñas Shimizu
  • Screenwriter
    J. Reid Miller, Celine Parreñas Shimizu
  • Producer
    Dan Shimizu, J. Reid Miller, Celine Parreñas Shimizu
  • Cast
    Kiyoko Kasai Fujiu, Robert Tadashi Shimizu, Jean M. Fujiu, John Fujiu, Matthew Risk, Jenny Shimizu Risk