The Tsunami & The Cherry Blossom
Filmmaker Lucy Walker set out to make “a visual haiku about cherry blossoms” in Japan, but changed her plans radically following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March of 2011. Taken with the cherry blossom’s beauty and ability to symbolize the ephemeral quality of life, Walker links the disaster with the power of Japan’s most beloved flower to heal and inspire. Walker’s stunning visual poem opens with a long clip of jaw-dropping real-life footage of the tsunami, showing water sweeping houses and buildings along like toys, lifting up cars, and swallowing people. It then moves to interviews with survivors from a northern Japanese village in the heart of the disaster, who share their traumatic personal experiences of the tsunami against a backdrop of cherry blossoms — a symbol rooted deep in Japanese culture that suggests rebirth.
Running time 39 minutes
Honor and Sacrifice
Roy Matsumoto, the man whose fascinating story is told in this film, is actually a resident of San Juan Island, and recently celebrated his 100th birthday here. His story is that of a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by World War II. The Matsumoto family included five sons, two who fought for the Americans and three who fought for the Japanese. The eldest, Hiroshi (Roy) fought against the Japanese with Merrill’s Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma. He became a hero when he used his Japanese language skills and military training to save his surrounded, starving battalion deep in the Burmese jungle. At the same time his parents and sisters were living in their family’s ancestral home, Hiroshima. The story is told by Roy’s daughter Karen, as she discovers her father’s work in military intelligence, kept secret for 50 years.
Running time: 28 minutes
Show time starts at 7:00 p.m.