This year Doc Fortnight honors the work of Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori with a selection of her films. Omori’s work has been featured in many festivals and broadcast on public television, but is less known here on the East Coast. In 2016, she was among a select group of documentary filmmakers invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Rabbit in the Moon. 1999. USA. Directed by Emiko Omori. 85 min.
This documentary/memoir recounts the story of two sisters, Emiko Omori and her co-producer, Chizu Omori, who as children were uprooted from their home in southern California and incarcerated with their family and thousands of others in concentration camps during World War II. The film includes eye witness accounts from other detainees and delves into issues that created deep divisions within the American Japanese community, revealing long-term effects still felt to this day.
Far East of Eden. 2016. USA. Directed by Bruce Yonemoto, in collaboration with Karen Finley. 24 min.
New York premiere
This experimental video, created by Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto while artists-in-residence at California’s Montalvo Arts Center, touches on the racism of the Center’s founder, James D. Phelan, and brings the story up to the present. Finley’s performance channels Phelan, one of the biggest proponents of anti-Japanese-immigration laws at the turn of the last century, before mutating into a more recent political figure—presenting a jarring juxtaposition between Phelan and Donald Trump.