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Made possible by the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment. Co-presented by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Visions: “Gold Watch”

A Japanese American woman cloaked in a kimono as she packs her belongings with a family member.
September 2, 2021 - 4:00 pm

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Archive events are in Pacific Time (U.S.).

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Women's Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television

Visions: “Gold Watch”

U.S., 11/11/1976

Momoko Iko’s acclaimed “Gold Watch” represents one of the first dramas to realistically examine the trauma caused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 of February 19, 1942, which led to the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans, and legal immigrants from Japan, during World War II. Informed by her own experience of being incarcerated at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming at age two, Iko’s semi-autobiographical play dramatizes the plight of a hard-working Japanese American/immigrant family living in the Pacific Northwest that struggles to come to terms with the unjust and unwarranted government order that will strip them of their freedom and property simply because of their racial identity. The devastating play serves to both document the racism endured by Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants during the war and illuminate the immeasurable toll of the still-present psychological pressures imposed on people of color in the United States by an American society that often demands cultural subjugation. Produced by television pioneer Barbara Schultz and directed by African American theater legend Lloyd Richards (recipient of the National Medal of Arts Lifetime Achievement Award), Iko’s groundbreaking drama is further elevated by transcendent lead performances from the married acting couple of Shizuko Hoshi and Mako (Academy Award nominee for The Sand Pebbles).

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Valerie Matsumoto, George and Sakaye Aratani Chair in Japanese American Incarceration, Redress and Community at UCLA, and Brian Niiya, Content Director for Densho, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to deepen understandings of American history and inspire action for equity. Introduction and post-screening panel moderated by Karen Umemoto, Helen and Morgan Chu Chair and Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Program notes written by Mark Quigley, John H. Mitchell Television Curator.

Total program runtime including discussion: 120 min. KCET. Producer: Barbara Schultz. Director: Lloyd Richards. Writer: Momoko Iko. With: Mako; Shizuko Hoshi; Jesse Dizon; Mariel Aragon.

Preserved from the original 2 in. videotape. Video transfer at DC Video. Engineering services by David Crosthwait. Use of Visions courtesy of KCETLink.

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