Local jazz bass mainstay Tatsu Aoki screens a 25-minute selection from his work-in-progress documentary Origins of Now: Stories of the Chicago Nisei, a companion to his composition Rooted: Origins of Now, Sunday as part of The 14th Annual Asian American Showcase.  Aoki traces Chicago’s Japanese American community, from World War II internment camps, resettlement and generations of quiet assimilation, to contemporary cultural rediscovery. 

Here’s my article about the film.

Origins of Now screens with the documentaries Passing Poston: An American Story, about the internment, and The Dwelling, about a Tokyo homeless man.  It’s Sunday at 3.  Aoki and producer Michael Tanimura will speak after the screening.  See a clip here.

Asian American Showcase (reviewed in this week’s issue) opens  today with Harry Kim’s Dirty Hands: The Art & Crimes of David Choe, a portrait of the flamboyant, self-destructive graffiti artist whose animation appeared in Juno‘s opening credits.  It’s Friday and Monday at 8 PM.  Daisy Lin Shapiro’s Yours Truly, Miss Chinatown takes us inside the history and contradictions of the pageant, Saturday at 4:30.  Tony Sirico (Paulie from The Sopranos) narrates the Hoboken-set Indian America romantic comedy Karma Calling, featuring local actress Barnali Das of Rasaka Theatre.  It’s Saturday at 8 PM and Tuesday at 8:15 PM.  Hein Seok’s House of Sharing, about Korean “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II and still fighting for recognition, screens Monday at 6 PM.

Asian American Showcase continues through April 16.  All screenings are at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.  

Here’s the Dirty Hands trailer: