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Rated NR · 74 minutes

Documentary

Jimmy Mirikitani is an 80-year-old Japanese-American artist living on the streets of Soho in the summer of 2001, selling his art to passersby. A chance meeting with neighboring filmmaker Linda Hattendorf leads to a friendship that changes both their lives when Hattendorf takes him in after the events of 9/11 leave the neighborhood enveloped in a cloud of toxic smoke. As Hattendorf leads Jimmy through the process of reclaiming his life, she films Jimmy as he paints and draws in her apartment, narrating his life story with humor, anger, and deep emotion. Born in the U.S. in 1920, Jimmy returned with his family to Hiroshima before World War II, and then escaped to America to avoid the Japanese military service. Consigned to the infamous internment camps for Japanese-Americans, Jimmy survived by immersing himself in his art. Losing most of his family in the war--including many to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima--leaves Jimmy embittered and alone in an alien country, with art his only means of survival. Discovering that Jimmy is related to Janice Mirikitani, Poet Laureate of San Francisco, is the first in a series of small miracles along the road to recovery. Jimmy's story comes full circle when he travels back to the West Coast to reconnect with a community of former internees at a healing pilgrimage to the site of his internment camp in Tule Lake.

Official Site: www.thecatsofmirikitani.com
Director: Linda Hattendorf
Cast: Jimmy Mirikitani and Tsutomu Mirikitani

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