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16 Star Starred
Camera 12 Downtown
201 South Second Street San Jose, CA 95113
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Incarcerated for the “crime” of being a Japanese American, David Tatsuno was sent to the desolate Topaz, Utah internment camp during World War II. Tatsuno, who managed a clothing store prior to the war, was given the responsibility of helping to run the camp’s cooperative store. With the assistance of Walter Honderick, the War Relocation Authority official who oversaw the co-op, Tatsuno retrieved his Super 8 movie camera, and managed to acquire color film at the Bass Camera Co. in Chicago while on official co-op purchasing trips.

For several years, Tatsuno surreptitiously shot remarkable, unrehearsed and spontaneous footage documenting daily life in the camp. For its “enduring cultural, historical or aesthetic significance,” Tatsuno’s rare color footage is now part of the National Film Registry in the library of Congress—the second home movie to be selected after the famous Zapruder footage of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas.

This program features excerpts from David Tatsuno’s footage that was shot in Topaz. The screening will be followed by a presentation and Q&A with David Tatsuno’s son Sheridan Tatsuno, an accomplished artist and playwright, and daughter Arlene Tatsuno Damron, who was born in the camp.

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