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The Cats of Mirikitani

THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI premieres Tuesday, May 8 on Independent Lens, a weekly series airing on PBS. Hosted by Terrence Howard, the acclaimed series showcases powerful and innovative independent films.

The Cats of Mirikitani, a film of immense charm and considerable bite, presents us with two Jimmies: the irascible old man he’s become, and in still images, the beautiful idealist he was at age 25. Hattendorf never forces connections between then and now – it’s all there in the material and in history, the way our government routinely uses the guise of “security” to justify any manner of cruel, aberrant behavior. Via Greencine daily

Jimmy Mirikitani
“The Battle of Midway” above and a photo of Mirikitani as a young man.

Stuck casually to the walls, drawings, collages and paintings represent the life of artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani, a life that might have been silenced by countless disasters but instead has become a shiny beacon of what is possible in a life well lived, however difficult. Read more here.

Charles Yuen did the graphic design and served as an advisor for The Cats of Mirikitani.
Thanks Hal for the pointer.

How is life after the success of the film for Mr. Mirikitani?
Here is a response via email from Charles Yuen.

He’s quite well taken care of. Linda found a new apartment for him with the city. His rent is subsidized. He’s teaching art to seniors there too. Also doing some traveling with the film. Linda is still quite involved with his life, organizing birthday parties etc. One irony, that is still playing out, is that there has been some interest in his art since the film. Unfortunately the worry is that it would endanger his social services standing, forcing him out of his current situation (which is a very good one for him). So we’re still trying to figure out how to handle his art in terms of sales.

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