FILM: Mixed-Race People Tell Their Stories in ‘Hafu’

FILM: Mixed-Race People Tell Their Stories in ‘Hafu’

The Rafu Shimpo: Los Angeles Japanese Daily News

J.K. Yamamoto, Rafu Staff Writer

Hafu,” a new documentary about mixed-race people in Japan, will be screened Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, First and Central in Little Tokyo, as part of the 29th L.A. Asian Pacific Film Fest.

Directed by Lara Perez Takagi and Megumi Nishikura, the film had its Los Angeles premiere on April 5 at JANM during the Hapa Japan Conference. The Bay Area premiere was on April 7 at UC Berkeley.

The title, the Japanese pronunciation of “half,” is the most common term in Japan for people who are half Japanese. It is similar to the Hawaiian word “hapa,” which originally meant someone half Native Hawaiian and half Caucasian.

The film focuses on five stories that reflect the diversity of the Hafu experience:…

…At the L.A. premiere, Koji Sakai of JANM noted the connections between “Hafu” and the museum’s ongoing exhibition “Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History”: “In a lot of ways the community, or people in general, think of Hapa as a new phenomenon, but in reality Hapas have been there from the very beginning in our community, and it’s time we acknowledge and support that.”

Duncan Ryuken Williams, co-director of the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, convener of Hapa Japan 2013, and co-curator of “Visible & Invisible,” had high praise for “Hafu”: “It’s a really thoughtful and inspirational film … The film directors did a great job of picking these five individuals. I think you’ll agree they represent the spectrum, the range of possible people in this Hafu experience … I’ve followed the making of this film and I know it’s a major labor of love for the two film directors. They put a lot into making this happen with the help of dozens of people who volunteered their time, most of whom were Hafu individuals.”…

Read the entire article here.

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