Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Fantastic Film

A friend (Hi Ange!) once told me that I should rank my favorite films according to how many times she'll want to kill herself during the viewing. With this one, I'd say just once, but it will last from beginning to end.

It's The Cats of Mirikitani by Linda Hattendorf, 2007 (some sources say 2006).

Absolutely amazing. I learned more about Japanese Americans, internment camps during WWII, and the personal experience of Hiroshima than I've ever learned from books.

Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani is one of the world's unique characters. Quite funny and tragic and open and expressive and a self proclaimed master artist. I tend to agree with him. His art is fascinating. The comments he makes about Hiroshima and his choice between the U.S. and Japan are wrenching (he has double citizenship). If you have netflix you can watch it online, but you need to see the extras that are only on the DVD too. The extras include his trip back to Japan and his meeting with family after 60years of believing he had no family left. 60 YEARS he thought he was alone in the world.

And still he talked of peace, and forgiveness and war by telling his story to people on the streets of New York.

He's alive (as far as I can tell) and as much as I want his art, it isn't for sale right now. Oh well, that's his right.


Angela (aka Ange) said...


Do NOT watch any film Jill M. Wagner recommends, no matter how benign said recommendation may be, if any of these conditions apply:

1. You are premenstrual in any way (that applies to the fellows, too)

2. You are pissed off about one or more of the following: which David won American Idol, the Democratic Party's infighting, the war in Iraq, the price of gas, the price of food, foods that make you gassy, or the fact that a steady diet of chocolate brownies and Doritos leads to weight gain.

3. If you cry or mist up at any of the following: A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Wizard of Oz, any commercial featuring the Snuggle (R) teddy bear, or memories of your grandmother/grandmother's cooking/grandmother's foul language.

If you have ANY remnants of sad, depressed, nostalgic, or sentimental feelings floating around in your blood, I beg of you, do not watch a film Jill recommends unless you have recently updated your will, given away your organic fruits and compost worms, and written your goodbye notes. Because once you watch one of her PIX, you need to be prepared for the worst.

Concerned in Champaign,

Jill said...

This is the best comment on any blog EVER.

Angela said...

Hi Jill,

Don't worry -- I don't plan on submitting some sort of ra-nant-i-cal (that's my new term for rant and fanatical -- spread it around -- just give me credit!) tirade over every one of your posts. But you know how strongly I feel about your film recommendations. Poor Jonny - he still actually watches them despite the harm to his psyche! Angela

Jill said...

Please, post all the ranantical comments you want! I love them.

And I love the non-depressing DVD you sent. I almost wet myself last night watching the bonus clip about getting an extreme makeover in middle age. And also realized that almost peeing while laughing was a symptom of middle age.