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Hatsumi


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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Chris Hope
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Alliance Films
  • Release Date: Nov. 27 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009NY7QEM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,612 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

During WW2, Nancy Hatsumi Okura was involuntarily removed from her home on the west coast and detained by the Government of Canada. Because of her ancestry, her rights as a Canadian citizen were denied. Chris Hope is Nancy’s grandson. Chris is curious about the unusual photos in his family photo albums from the WW2 era. Following Nancy's 80th birthday, he offers to take her on a trip back to the locations of her internment if she agrees to discuss her wartime experiences for the first time.

“A beautifully crafted documentary that never once loses its innate humanity whilst portraying the rampant inhumanity that surrounded these hapless citizens of Canada.  Fierce, loving, strong, poetic.” - Deepa Mehta, Academy Award® nominated director of Midnight’s Children

 “An extraordinary and beautiful film … exhaustively and passionately researched, both at the level of the filmmaker’s personal history and as an investigation into our national consciousness.”- Atom Egoyan, Academy Award® nominated director of The Devil's Knot

 "A family portrait that brings the heartrending story of wartime Japanese Canadian removal from the margins of history into our hearts." - Greg Robinson, Author of A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America

Special Features

  • English & Japanese Menu
  • Gala Introduction
  • Nancy's thoughts on telling her story
  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Promo

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T.A on Nov. 8 2012
This film has been screened twice in a University class that I teach and I can't say enough about how incredible and important it is. It's always surprising to see how few of our students have learned about the Japanese internment in Canada during World War Two and this film not only introduces them to an essential piece of Canadian history but it does so in a way that is deeply touching. Chris Hope doesn't just explore the facts about internment but delves into Canada's complex (and often hidden)history of racism and discrimination. Politically this film makes a huge impact but it's Hope's sensitivity and insight that really leave a mark and capture the humanity in such an inhumane reality.

I would highly recommend this film for anyone but, in particular, I would really encourage teachers to screen it for their students!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hana on Nov. 7 2012
Verified Purchase
An absolute must-see for anyone interested in Canadian history, this is a beautiful and touching film. I watched it with my daughter (12) and it opened her eyes up to this important piece of Canadian history which is not widely known. Chris Hope's narration and his grandmother's experience add a personal touch and make for a fascinating film.
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'Hatsumi' is an eye-opener to anyone, especially Canadians, who wishes to be enlightened by the maimed voices of the innocents caught in the crossfire and atrocity of war. This is a revisit to one area of tainted Canadian war history: the revolting act of the political institution that highlighted its cultural prejudice toward one of its own people--the Japanese-Canadians either born in the country or those naturalized. The documentary opens my heart for empathy to the victims. They were part of the collateral damage from the atrocious realities of war propaganda. The film director (Chris Hope), nonetheless, has shown and emphasized also the beauty, tenacity, self-esteem and strength of his own family and the rest of the Japanese-Canadian community. They may be physically 'imprisoned' but their spirit would never be fettered. They have shown that they were dignified citizens of Canada; they were humans that deserved respect. The story of Nancy and her own people is a humanizing story in a dehumanizing conditions of war and post-war era. I would share this film to my friends and my nearby schools to help them grasp and appreciate the other strand of forgotten stories of survival in Canada.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Austen on March 29 2013
I've learned about the internment a few times throughout school. Seeing this documentary has deepened my understanding of the events.

The story is made in a very personal fashion. It starts around a family gathering for a grandmother's birthday. There is an open subjectivity to the filmmaker's approach which creates for the viewer a sense of honesty in the accounts. The historic and photographic content, which is of high quality and relevance, greatly enhances feelings of empathy. The music was suitable for dramatic effect and, for the most part, left space for ambience. There were interesting, surprising and horrifying factual details about the internment which I was thankful to learn (a couple of animated maps showing the separation of families, movement to the camps, migration to Ontario and the return to Japan would have helped). The doc's most significant quality is the portrayal of the beliefs held by these Canadians before, during and after internment.

Personally, this film is a touching reminder that gratitude and happiness are inseparable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michel on March 28 2013
This is a true story of the Canadian internment of Canadians of Japanese ancestry during WWII. It is also the moving personal story of a grandson's journey with his grandmother back through a history veiled by the Japanese philosophy of shi kata ga nai ("it can't be helped")and by Canadian mythology. This is a must see film on many fronts: histories, relationships, forgetting, remembering, pain, survival and most of all dignity and resilience. Chris Hope has crafted an uplifting film of great sensitivity that will stay with you. This is a terrific movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LeahLime on March 28 2013
A very moving documentary - extremely well done! Highly recommend, as a grandmother myself. Touches on themes of inter-generational connections within families, cultural diversity and how very important it is for us to learn about one another so that we can work together and co-exist peacefully. Watching the movie was an emotional experience - in the best possible way.
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