The Cats of Mirikitani

Last night I watched a movie about Jimmy Mirikitani.  Jimmy is a Japanese Artist  who was found living on the streets of NYC in Jan. 2001 by filmmaker Linda Hattendorf.   He wasn't an alcoholic, he wasn't a drug addict or mentally ill.  No.  He was an American Citizen, born in California 85 years ago who had the misfortune of being of Japanese dissent and placed in the California Japanese Internment Camps during WW2.  His life would never be the same.

Rare is the film about an artist who doesn't appear to be suffering from mental illness or 'drama' that seems self indulgent.  When the film first got started you see Jimmy on the streets and not looking so good.  You don't know anything about him and it is easy to think he is crazy or an alcoholic.  While not 'great', at first glance his art looked very simple and almost stunted in a childlike era both mechanically and subject wise.  All of that vanishes as you get to know who the artist is, see his work and accomplishments throughout his life.  His art takes on a new meaning and direction and will touch you deeply. 
This documentary has so many messages about life, art and humanity. It was uplifting, touching and reminded me how art can heal.  Art can touch.  That people can make a difference one at a time. This movie won the tribecca film festival award for best documentary.  You can read more about the filmakers and 'Jimmy' Mirikitani on their website: The Cats of Mirikitani. You can stream it on Netflix too.


andrea said...

I'm convinced.

Karen Martin Sampson said...

Very nice getting to know you through Angela...love your creations! I would very much like to see this documentary. All the best with your new direction in life after the changes you spoke of in your previous
blog entry. I think for someone of your obvious strengths and will that it is all going to be ok. I'll be following.

Teo said...

I shall see this movie, sounds great! He was such a handsome man when he was young. Thanks for recommending!

Angela Recada said...

You have a knack for finding the most fascinating documentaries, Paula. This is one I'll definitely be looking for.

paula said...

i think you guys will love it for sure. and thanks karen, nice to meet you too :)