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Movie Night (free!): "The Cats of Mirikitani"
In honor of the International Day of Peace, the first Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover movie night of this congregational year will be on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. 6 Locke Street. The movie will be The Cats of Mirikitani. This short documentary (74 minutes) has won many awards, including the Audience Award at both the Tribeca Film Festival and the Paris Cinema Film Festival; Best Picture at the Tokyo International Film Festival; Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival; and the Norwegian Peace Film Award at the Tromso Internatinal Film Festival.
A synopsis of the movie (from www.thecatsofmirikitani.com): “ ‘Make art not war’ is Jimmy Mirikitani's motto. This 85-year-old Japanese American artist was born in Sacramento and raised in Hiroshima, but by 2001 he is living on the streets of New York with the twin towers of the World Trade Center still ominously anchoring the horizon behind him. What begins as a simple verite portrait of one homeless man will become a rare document of daily life in New York in the months leading up to 9/11. How deeply these two stories will be intertwined cannot yet be imagined. This is the story of losing ‘home’ on many levels.
“How did Mirikitani end up on the streets? The answer is in his art. As tourists and shoppers hurry past, he sits alone on a windy corner in Soho drawing whimsical cats, bleak internment camps, and the angry red flames of the atomic bomb. When a neighboring filmmaker stops to ask about Mirikitani's art, a friendship begins that will change both their lives. In sunshine, rain, and snow, she returns again and again to document his drawings, trying to decipher the stories behind them. The tales spill out in a jumble -- childhood picnics in Hiroshima, ancient samurai ancestors, lost American citizenship, Jackson Pollock, Pearl Harbor, thousands of Americans imprisoned in WWII desert camps, a boy who loved cats... As winter warms to spring and summer, she begins to piece together the puzzle of Mirikitani's past. One thing is clear from his prolific sidewalk displays: he has survived terrible traumas and is determined to make his history visible through his art.
“September 11 thrusts Mirikitani once again into a world at war and challenges the filmmaker to move from witness to advocate. In the chaos following the collapse of the World Trade Center, she finds herself unable to passively photograph this elderly man coughing in the toxic smoke, and invites him into her small apartment. In this uncharted landscape, the two navigate the maze of social welfare, seek out family and friends, and research Jimmy's painful past -- finding eerie parallels to events unfolding around them in the present.
“Discovering that Jimmy is related to Janice Mirikitani, Poet Laureate of San Francisco, is the first in a series of small miracles along the road to recovery.
“Jimmy's story comes full circle when he travels back to the West Coast to reconnect with a community of former internees at a healing pilgrimage to the site of his internment camp Tule Lake, and to see the sister he was separated from half a century ago.
“Blending beauty and humor with tragedy and loss, THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI is an intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing power of art. A heart-warming affirmation of humanity that will appeal to all lovers of peace, art, and cats.”
To be more comfortable, please feel free to bring your own lawn chair (or other portable, comfortable chair)! For those so inclined, we will have a time to discuss and process the movie after the viewing. For more information, contact Rev. Lara Hoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About Unitarian Universalist Congregation In Andover
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover worships alongside other churches in the Massachusetts branch of the Unitarian Universalist Association and calls on practices in Christianity, Judaism, as well as earth-centered traditions and from other factions of "human religious culture." The church has a "Welcoming Congregation" specifically for reaching out to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community members and tries to counteract the repressive influences in society.
Other events here
- Movie Night (free!): "One Peace at a Time" Fri, May 24, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm