HAFU: THE MIXED-RACE EXPERIENCE IN JAPAN
Directed by Megumi Nishikura, Lara Perez Takagi
Official Selection, 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Do we need to be defined? HAFU seeks to answer this question, and many important ones like it, as it proudly displays the new wave of multi-cultural families living in Japan. As we learn, the term “hafu” – literally meaning “half” – has both positive and negative connotations, and in the film we see how mixed-race people living in Japan not only long to be acknowledged, but accepted and understood.
Directors Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Tagaki, hafus themselves, present five intimate stories featuring people whose ethnic and national identity are called into question every day of their lives. Whether it’s 28-year-old David, who’s lived in Japan nearly his entire life and is now looking to give back to his mother’s village in Ghana, or 9-year-old Alex, who leaves Japan to live with his mother’s family in Mexico after traumatically being bullied in school for being different. Or maybe you identify with Sophia, who’s lived in Australia her whole life, but comes to Japan to learn about a culture and language she barely knows. HAFU opens a dialogue about what it means to live in an increasingly global world and, inspired by David and the other hafu leaders in the film, is here to support the next generation. – James Paguyo
Sarah Tadayon, David Frazier / Taiwan / 2012 / 13 minsA Chinese-Iranian American actress finds reoccurring work on Taiwanese television, but can’t escape exotic typecasting and the scrutiny of an industry with stringent ideals of beauty.
Precedes: HAFU: THE MIXED-RACE EXPERIENCE IN JAPAN