No No Girl Feature Image

Found the trailer for this drama dealing with third and fourth generation Japanese Americans confronting their personal ties as a family, and identity as Americans, to the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There’s a heartfelt mix of soul searching and comedy on display as the story unpacks the figurative and literal meanings of “digging up one’s past.”

Director Paul Daisuke Goodman had this to say:

Who has heard of Manzanar? Or Rohwer or Tule Lake? No-No Boys and loyalty questionnaires and the American Concentration Camps? This is the history that I grew up with as a fourth generation Japanese American whose ancestors were evicted from their homes and put into concentration camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Many of the people who worked on this film and almost every Japanese American can trace their way back, one way or another, to a camp in some desolate corner of the country. No No Girl is just one of the stranger-than-fiction stories that have been so underrepresented in today’s narrative storytelling….

Goodman’s own personal tale almost seems ripe for dramatization as well. While he was writing the script for No No Girl, he was also battling a relapse of cancer in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Goodman would start principal photography six months after being discharged from the hospital.

I suspect both the movie’s story and Goodman’s own triumphs to make it will attract a lot of invites from Asian American and hopefully international film festivals as well.

Here’s the trailer:

More about the movie is available at Goodman’s production company’s website here.