Rabbit in the Moon

This documentary about the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II is less revisionist history than poetic memoir. Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori was 18 months old in 1942, when she and her family were shipped off to a detention camp; her film reconstructs the experience through interviews with survivors and rarely seen archival photos and newsreel footage. Omori reveals the government’s anti-Japanese policies and propaganda, which turned an entire race into a public enemy, but she focuses more on the confusion and anger over questions of loyalty, the fights that split the Japanese-American community, and the individual acts of heroism. Her juxtaposing of black-and-white images against haunting present-day shots of the abandoned camp sites–a strategy appropriated from Chris Marker and Ken Burns–is vividly evocative, and her restrained, forgiving narration lends dignity to the intensely personal reflections. Film Center, Saturday, April 3, 4:00, 312-443-3737.

–Ted Shen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.