General Public
New York Premiere

NAMBA: A Japanese American's Incarceration and Life of Resilience

Social Justice Projects
Directed by: Emily Hanako Momohara
Duration: 45 minutes
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NAMBA: A Japanese American's Incarceration and Life of Resilience
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NAMBA: A Japanese American's Incarceration and Life of Resilience
An award-winning coming-of-age journey in the midst of war and bravery, Namba introduces us to May Namba, a Japanese American woman incarnated during WWII. It’s a portion of American history not often told.

We learn the story of May Namba, narrated by her granddaughter Miyako Namba. Beginning with the summer of 1941, she chronicles the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that sent Japanese Americans to prison camps, and the impact it had on those Americans.

May was incarcerated in Minidoka, one of 10 such prisons. Miyako narrates as May lost her job and her father was taken away. Yet throughout the journey, we witness May’s incredible resilience and how it forges a life of service.

May goes on to become an community organizer, working collaboratively to create community events and spaces for healing and justice. She mentors many local youths who go on to become the leaders they are today.

In the film, May, Miyako and other members of the Namba family travel to the Minidoka site. Miyako struggles to walk May’s journey. She imagines what she would bring with her in the limited luggage allowed, makes a mattress of hay in a horse stall for a bed, and visits many of the locations that shaped May’s life.

May Namba’s patriotism, resilience, perseverance, and leadership is an inspiration for us all.
Genres: Documentary and Reality
Perspectives: Asian-American, Women
Studio: n/a
Producers: Emily Hanako Momohara
From: United States
Produced In: United States
Writers: Emily Hanako Momohara
Lead Actors: May NambaMiyako Namba
Supporting Actors: Bill TashimaBif BrigmanNeil KingAaren PurcellAnna Hostica TamuraDr. Tetsuden KashimaJim NambaHanako Wakatsuki ChongRhee LightnerSam HerbersAndrea PhantuSpencer Whitehead
Key Crew: Mika YatsuhashiSimon Tam + Joe X JiangJim Bailey

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