Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this drama about young Asian-Americans struggling for a sense of culture and identity, Irene (Suzy Nakamura) is a Japanese-American teenager growing up in the early 1970s. Her parents, who spent much of World War II in a California internment camp (though they refuse to discuss their experiences there), have decided to divorce, which sends Irene, already going through a difficult emotional period, into a tailspin. Unhappy at home, Irene and her boyfriend Luke (James Sie) decide to hit the road for San Francisco; before leaving, Irene symbolically burns her mother's family photographs, an eerie echo of her grandfather's decision, years before, to burn the family's possessions before being taken to the internment camp. Irene and Luke travel with another couple, political activists Mark and Aura; unknown to the others, radical Mark has the makings for several bombs in his bags. The two couples bicker until Irene and Luke split off on their own in search of the remains of the camp where Irene's family was incarcerated.
concentration-camp, dysfunctional, elderly, explosion, family, family-separation, humiliation, internment, investigation, politician, prison, separation, survivor