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Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm (film)

DVD cover. Courtesy of the Center for Asian American Media
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

Documentary film that follows a Japanese American farm family over the course of a year at their Central California farm.

David Mas Masumoto, a Sansei , returned to the family farm his Nisei father had purchased in 1948 after their return from forcible confinement at the Gila River concentration camp. Originally a conventional farm, the Masumotos turned to organic farming prior to the birth of Mas and his wife Marcy's first child. At the same time, Mas forged a successful career as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, eloquently documenting the life and struggles—but also the joys, romance, and excitement—of the agricultural experience. The Masumoto farm has since become a leading producer of highly sought after peaches (and nectarines and raisins).

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm begins as the peaches are ready for harvest, then takes us through the harvest season, the gala end of season community celebration, followed by a long winter and the dawning of a new season. But the film is really about the generational transition from the soon-to-be sixty year old Mas to daughter Nikiko. The transition becomes more urgent when Mas suffers an unexpected health crisis midway through the film. As the proud father, Mas is both thrilled that his daughter has chosen to follow in his footsteps, but also somewhat troubled by it: does he really want his daughter to embark on the difficult and physically demanding life of a farmer? Father and daughter also pay a visit to the site of the Gila River concentration camp to pay tribute to Mas's late father Joe.

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm debuted at CAAMFest at the Oakland Museum on March 20, 2015, and subsequently screened at a variety of film festivals, winning awards for "Best Feature Documentary" at the 2015 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival and "Best Director for a Documentary" at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. It was shown nationwide on PBS starting in May 2016.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like Our American Family: The Furutas (2015); Old Man River (1998); The Nisei Farmer (2003)

Media Details
Release Date 2015
Runtime 57 minutes
Director Jim Choi
Editing Chihiro Wimbush
Distributor Center for Asian American Media
For More Information

For More Information

Trailer for film: .

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm on Center for Asian American Media website: .

Hamamoto, Ben. "A Look at 'Changing Season: On the Matsumoto Family Farm.'" Nichi Bei Weekly , Mar. 19–Apr. 1, 2015, 6.