We have some incredible documentaries for you today. We kick off the screenings with The Lulu Sessions at 2 p.m at the Goethe-Institut. This is an award-winning and critically acclaimed film – it won our 2011 Best Documentary Feature winner. The Lulu Sessions also captured our prestigious George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker prize, awarded to director S. Casper Wong. We will be presenting the award to her after the screening. L.A. Weekly called this film a “Must-see documentary.” It has garnered so many special accolades, this is a truly special film that you do not want to miss.
LuLu gathers friends like a dog gathers fleas. Meet her for a Bud Lite, and you’ll end up snorting beer through your nose, swaying to the jukebox, feeling the inner rebel in you bubbling up. Her cussing puts sailors to shame. She inhales Marlboros like an unsupervised six-year-old devours M&Ms. She downs Double White Russians and Dewar’s straight up.
You wouldn’t guess LuLu, or Dr. Louise Nutter, discovered a groundbreaking antibiotic /anti-cancer drug, the kind of achievement that wins you a Nobel Prize. Or that she started college when she was 15, whizzed through grad school and got her Ph.D in biochem in 3-1/2 years.
She’s a pioneering cancer scientist. Demanding and beloved professor. Amateur poet and novelist. A farm girl. Former cheerleader. Her nicknames include “The Bull” and “Passion Pot.” At her prime at age 42, LuLu gets a phone call: She has end-stage breast cancer. She’ll die 15 months later.
Film is preceded by the short film Raymond. Click here to purchase tickets for this screening.
Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien, 4:30 p.m.
Jimmy Murakami is a Japanese American who grew up in the United States, developed a well-respected career in Hollywood, and established a full life in his adopted country Ireland. He is an Oscar-nominated animator, whose films include When the Wind Blows and The Snowman. While it would seem that he has a wonderful life, his childhood continues to haunt him.
Murakami was only eight years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor during WWII. He and his family, along with over a hundred thousand Japanese Americans, were sent to internment camps. Murakami’s family spent four years in the Tule Lake camp in the California desert, where his sister Sumiko died of leukemia.
This documentary film showcases Murakami’s series of paintings reflecting on his time at the Tule Lake camp and culminates in Murakami’s return to Tule Lake to confront his pain and anger. -Sharon Kim.
Preceded by the shorts Four Immeasurables and Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol. Click here to purchase tickets for this screening.
Resident Aliens: A Cambodian/American Story, 7 p.m.
Resident Aliens is the story of three Cambodian-born refugees who have grown up in America, but for different reasons, are deported back to their native country. After living a majority of their lives as Americans, they must adjust to their circumstances in an unfamiliar homeland. This compelling documentary takes the audience on a tour of daily struggles, employment, old habits, self-doubt, family, and responsibilities. —Zandra Wilson
Preceded by the short Voice Unknown - winner of our Best Documentary Short Award. Click here to purchase tickets for this screening.