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Conversations: Before the War/After the War (film)

A 1986 dramatic film by Robert Nakamura that is based on the play "Truth of the Matter" by Karen L. Ishizuka. In Conversations , three characters discuss their life experiences, feelings and the facts of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, exploring the changes in their lives and long term effects of their wartime experiences. Though taking the form of oral history interviews, the three characters were nonprofessional actors playing composite characters based on their own experiences and that of others. The cast included Kimiko Nakamura—the mother of director Nakamura—along with Warren Furutani , playing a role based on his father, and Grace Ino, playing the part of a younger Nisei . in a 2009 interview, Nakamra said that the film "was experimental in that we used the experiences of the non-actors themselves reading transcripts of interviews, and a little bit of coaching." [1]

Authored by Patricia Wakida

Might also like American Sons (2005); Looking Like the Enemy (1996); Children of the Camps (1999)


  1. Los Angeles Film Forum, "Alternative Projections Experimental film in Los Angeles, 1945- 1980," oral History project, interview by Adam Hyman and Pauline Stakelon, May 23, 2009, 88, accessed on April 12, 2015 at .
Media Details
Release Date 1986
Runtime 29 minutes
Director Robert A. Nakamura
Producer Karen L. Ishizuka
Writer Karen L. Ishizuka
Starring Warren Furutani, Grace Iino, Kimiko Nakamura
Studio Generation Films
Distributor Center for Asian American Media
For More Information

For More Information

Murray, Alice Yang. Historical Memories of the Japanese American Internment and the Struggle for Redress . Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.

Ono, Kent A. "Re/Membering Spectators: Meditations on Japanese American Cinema." In Countervisions: Asian American Film Criticism . Edited by Darrell Y. Hamamoto and Sandra Liu. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000. 129–49.