Pink Carnations

2018-19, 16mm film and HD video with sound, 9:50

An experimental reflection of a Japanese American family’s history at an internment camp during World War II.

Pink Carnations recalls the lasting effects that fear and racism have, when implemented by a government, upon its’ own people. Through family photos, historical films, home movies, original 16mm footage and oral accounts from family members, Pink Carnations reflects upon the travesties visited upon Japanese Americans during World War II.

A deeply poetic experimental film, pink carnations spins it’s narrative outward from a spiraling mirage of mutating garden vegetation. Beneath the surface of this garden are echoes of a past injustice fogged by time, but whose likeness lingers in the present. The voice of a young child tells the story—shaping personal and public history into a future memorial.

Included in the film are excerpts from Topaz, a movie compiled of illegally shot footage by Dave Tatsuno (1913-2006) from within the Topaz internment camp in Utah. It is one of only two amateur home movies in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. A decade after the war had ended and interned Japanese Americans had been released, Tatsuno returned to the site of the camp, as a tourist, and filmed the remains of what had been Topaz.

Music: Kajyadhi Fu Bushi by Jun Arasaki, recording from 1977, courtesy of Em Records

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