CAAMFest, American Doc, Chagrin Doc, Asian American fests in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Boston
The filmmaker explores the complexity of identities in his extended mixed-race family.
Taking an understandably personal but ultimately unfocused approach to his subject matter, the biracial Japanese/Italian Hashiguchi, who grew up in a predominantly white, Irish-Catholic part of Cleveland, ruminates on his ambivalence towards his Japanese American heritage while also surveying various family members about their own experiences. What first seems like a rough-hewn and familiar but appealing portrait of the filmmaker’s grandmother, Eva – an 88-year-old Japanese-American born in California and interned during WWII – too soon gives way to interviews with Hashiguchi’s immediate and extended family members. While their perspectives on overt or subtle racism, passing, and embracing or rejecting elements of their ethnic backgrounds offer some interest, the project as a whole never fully coheres.