Saturday, May 21, 2016
Northside Community Center
THE WASH (1988, 94 min., drama). The 1988 classic was shot in San Jose Japantown and featured Japanese American film legends, Mako and Nobu McCarthy. Written by Philip Gotanda and directed by Michael Uno, the cast and crew spent weeks in San Jose J-Town checking out locations, putting up faux signs and directing the lucky locals that made it into the film.
The liner notes for the laser disc version of the film read, “Falling in love at 18 is magic. Falling in love at 65 is a miracle.”
After what is implied to be many stressful years of mistreatment due to her husband’s intolerably sexist nature, Masi (Nobu McCarty) leaves Nobu (Mako) early in the story and moves on to dating widower, Sadao (Sab Shimono). She, however, continues to do his laundry – the WASH of the title. Nobu does not similarly ‘move on’ and begins to panic at the loss of Masi.
This ‘abandonment’ – as Nobu tends to classify it – forces him to confront both his traumatic memories of the Japanese internment camps, which the story establishes as the root of his inflexible nature, and the reality of the consequences of this unyielding nature. The confrontations and interactions of a long marriage are realistically portrayed, leading to the resolution of their future lives in a symbolic and sympathetic ending that invokes the title.
Program: A special program and reception will follow the screening of The Wash, recognizing playwright and screenwriter Philip Gotanda for the long list of plays, films and writings that have brought diverse and important images of Asian Americans to the forefront. Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS) will honor his achievements with their first ever IMAGE HERO Award. Note: Reception ticket required. Special film+reception combo ticket available for this film.