Synopsis by Mark Deming
Many people, as they get older, come to understand that their parents' lives were more complex than they imagined as children, but this video adaptation of a theater piece by Cynthia Gates Fujikawa is the story of a woman who came to realize just how much she didn't know about the life of her father, and his part in one of the most unfortunate episodes in U.S. history. Jerry Fujikawa was a Japanese-American character actor who worked regularly in television, including roles on MASH and Kung Fu. Shortly before he died in 1983, Cynthia began looking into her father's past and discovered a first marriage -- including children -- he had never discussed. Even more remarkable was the story of his incarceration in an internment camp for Asian-Americans during World War II, which left deep psychological scars he kept hidden from his children. Old Man River mixes photos, vintage film footage and Cynthia's performance to create a portrait of a man (and a national history) she didn't know as well as she once thought.
actor, Asia, father, history, Japan, life, man, past, television, war