Stanley Hayami’s writings and drawings are the basis for “A Flicker in Eternity.”
“A Flicker in Eternity” will be screened on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Choi Auditorium on the Occidental College campus, 1600 Campus Rd. in Los Angeles.
The documentary is the coming-of-age tale of Stanley Hayami (1925-1945), a talented teenager caught between his dream of becoming a writer/artist and his duty to his country. Based on Hayami’s own diary and letters, this film is the first-hand account of a 15-year-old thrust into the turmoil of World War II and is a poignant reminder of the indignity of incarceration and the tragedy of war.
Through Hayami’s endearing cartoons and witty observations, this film chronicles his life behind barbed wire and as a soldier in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Producer/director Sharon Yamato was introduced to Hayami’s diary and letters while working at the Japanese American National Museum, where they are archived. She and co-director Ann Kaneko were later approached by Joanne Oppenheim, a New York-based writer who authored “Stanley Hayami: Nisei Son,” with the idea of using his story as the basis for a film.
His story seemed particularly relevant to young people in capturing both the trauma of camp life and the bravery of the men drafted out of camp to serve in the military while their families were still held behind barbed wire.
Mitchell Maki, president/CEO of Go For Broke National Education Center, will further discuss the role of World War II’s segregated Japanese American units, including the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service, in fighting the enemy overseas and prejudice at home.
One of the men who refused to serve until his constitutional rights were restored and his family released was Takashi Hoshizaki, who served three years in a federal penitentiary for his role as one of 63 men known as the Heart Mountain Resisters. He will offer his counterpoint to the role of the military in helping prove Japanese American loyalty during the war.
Free admission. Sponsored by The 75th Anniversary of the Japanese American Incarceration: Never Again, International Programs Office, Office for Religious & Spiritual Life, and Oxy Arts.
For more information, visit www.oxy.edu/events/flicker-eternity.