Friday, March 10, 2006

2006 SFIAAFF—"Only the Brave" and "No Sleep Til Shanghai"

Only the Brave. Death and memory charge the battlefield in Lane Nishikawa's Only the Brave; a belated cinematic tribute to the forgotten heroes of WWII—the all-volunteer, Japanese-American 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team. Nishikawa, who wrote and directed, likewise portrays a platoon leader burdened with the ghosts of the men who have died under his command. How he returns to life and achieves closure is heartfelt and hopeful. Memory becomes his consummate political act.

No Sleep Til Shanghai. Todd Angkasuwan's documentary of the Asian concert tour of Chinese-American hip hop artist Jin Au-Yeung is bound to entertain Jin's fanbase who will, undoubtedly, remain inspired by this artist's access to the predominantly Black world of hip hop, and who has succeeded in representing it in China. Personally, I was most impressed with Jin's Black dj liaison in China who could speak fluent Mandarin! Concert footage in the clubs is marred by muddied sound so that Jin is unfortunately not really shown at his video best.

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