Release Date
27 November 2012

Hatsumi (2012)

55min ยท Documentary
In Japanese, "shikata ga nai" means "it can't be helped". As a phrase, it represents the philosophical basis of the Japanese cultural reserve, through which adversity is never acknowledged. Nancy Okura is a Canadian of Japanese descent. During the Second World War, she was involuntarily removed from her home and relocated to an internment camp by the Government of Canada. Shikata ga nai prevented Nancy Okura from ever speaking about her internment. Chris Hope is Nancy's grandson. He is curious about his past, and his family's archive has just been passed down to him. It consists of reels of home movie film and hundreds of photos, including many taken with a smuggled camera during the internment. Nancy has never provided any other context for these rare internment photographs. After celebrating her 80th birthday in Toronto, Chris offers to take Nancy on a trip back to the west coast locations of her internment experience if Nancy will agree to put shikata ga nai aside to tell the story of her internment experience for the first time. On their journey, Nancy's story comes to life in vivid detail, leading grandmother and grandson through the Japanese-Canadian internment, across Canada and, unexpectedly, around the world.
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