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Tadaima (film)

Short dramatic film by Robin Takao D'Oench that chronicles the return of a Japanese American family to their West Coast home after being released from an American concentration camp. The family—two presumably Issei parents and two presumably Nisei kids, an older teenage boy and younger teenage girl—arrive at a home that is unkempt and dirty and also marred by anti-Japanese graffiti both inside and out. As they set about making the house livable again, the two kids go out into the woods and dig up a box filled with Japanese objects—family photographs, documents, and precious objects such as Japanese dolls and clothing—they had presumably buried in the period prior to their forced removal. As they slowly settle back into their home, each family member finds some degree of hope by the end of the first day. The title is a Japanese expression generally uttered by someone who is announcing his or her arrival home.

Filmmaker D'Oench is a 2012 graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and Stern School of Business. His grandfather's family was incarcerated at Manzanar during World War II. D'Oench dedicates the film to his Nisei grandfather, activist and scholar Paul Takagi.

D'Oench shot the film in Santa Cruz, California; the house featured in it is located in Corralitos, California. Since its 2015 release, Tadaima has been screened in many festivals and community events and has received many awards.

Authored by Brian Niiya

Might also like The Nisei Farmer (2003); Conversations: Before the War/After the War (1986); The Chessmen (2005)

Media Details
Release Date 2015
Runtime 15 minutes
Director Robin Takao D'Oench
Producer Claire Brooks
Writer Robin Takao D'Oench
Starring Toshi Toda (Kazuo), Vivian Umino (Kaori), Mackenyu Maeda (George), Jordyn Kanaya (Akiko)
Music John Nye
Cinematography Mingjue Hu
Editing Dan Dimauro
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