Duane Kubo and Robert Nakamura's HITO HATA: RAISE THE BANNER (1980) is VC's first foray into long-form narrative filmmaking. With production starting in 1979, the story is led by a cast including legendary APA acting luminaries as Mako, Pat Morita, and Yuki Shimoda, drew upon the realities of Little Tokyo redevelopment struggles throughout the 1970s and the displacement of longtime Japanese American residents as gentrification set in. This excerpt from the 94 minute film depicts the first meeting of Oda (Mako) and Tatsumi (Hiroshi Kashiwagi), two Issei laborers, during the 1934 Nisei Week Grand Parade. To execute this scene and others like it throughout the film required the consent and goodwill of local Little Tokyo businesses to allow street closures of Little Tokyo to allow filming — a policy that was rarely granted by Little Tokyo businesses even today.
FROM THE VC VAULT
November 15, 2016
Dear Friends of Visual Communications,
It’s been a week since Election Day, and we still feel and empathize with the raw emotions from its outcome. As an organization that celebrates people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ communities, and our allies, we are determined to create safe spaces for expression and dialogue. As we continue our work through the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusivity, we want to call people in (not out), in an effort to tear down walls and build bridges.
Our mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.
We believe stories by and about our communities is a medium for dialogue. We believe that artists have political power. That they can define and provoke, but also inspire change.
During the next presidential election cycle, Visual Communications will turn 50. As we count down the final weeks of 2016, we will bring you images and memories From The VC Vault to celebrate our work together for the last 46 years. We want to show you a legacy of artists and cultural workers who have made an impact throughout the years. It is a testament to the resilience of our communities and it is our hope to inspire younger generations to continue to fight for what is right, and for what is our right.
We ask for your continued support of our organization, our staff, and our programs by making an End of the Year Donation to Visual Communications. Meanwhile, check back here daily to follow along with our countdown.