This free event is a Kickoff to the 2012 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon. DisOrient is a volunteer run, grass roots film festival dedicated to presenting honest portrayals of the diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences and is a program of the Chinese American Benevolent Association, a 501(c)(3) organization. The festival continues April 27th-29th at The Bijou Art Cinemas. For more information, go to www.disorientfilm.org.
The feature documentary "Great Grandfather's Drum" celebrates Japanese American culture and history in Hawai'i. It is an inspiring century-long story of struggle and success in the great American tradition; of harsh labor on the plantations, internment and patriotic heroism during WWII, asserting civil rights, and helping to establish statehood for Hawai'i. The story unfolds through an intimate and joyful portrait of Maui Taiko, a contemporary Japanese American drum ensemble, descendants of plantation workers, and by elders who lived this history. Kay Fukumoto and her family formed Maui Taiko to continue the tradition of Obon Taiko music brought to Hawai'i from Fukushima, Japan by her great grandfather and others a century ago. Ms. Fukumoto is one of the first Japanese American woman taiko performers in the US. The film connects history to the lives of people living today, and includes Maui Taiko's performances on the giant drums. We travel with Maui Taiko on a heartfelt journey back to Fukushima to seek their ancestral roots, to return the music brought from this region of Japan to Hawai'i so long ago.