WISDOM GONE WILDDirected by Rea Tajiri
Jury Award Honorable Mention for Feature Documentary and Audience Award for Feature Documentary, 2022 Blackstar Film Festival
In this masterwork of a career-long investigation into collective memory, Rea Tajiri shares the camera with her mother, Rose Tajiri Noda, chronicling a sixteen year journey as Rose’s care partner following her diagnosis with dementia. A duet of both care and cinematic creation, WISDOM GONE WILD captures Rose’s daily life while sprawling across time, as Rose’s memories emerge from everyday encounters, songs, dreams, and anxieties.
A family history comes into focus: of Japanese farmers in the Salinas strawberry fields, of internment camp survivors and their children, of an archive co-created by a family of artists. In 1989 footage that punctuates the film, Rose and Rea pass the camera back and forth to one another, and Rea shares the difficulty she’s having with “the tape about our family”—what would go on to become her canonical History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige.
If History and Memory investigates how traumatic historical memories have been suppressed for the next generation to decipher and articulate, WISDOM GONE WILD is a celebration of memory as a collaborative medium, force, and wisdom. The film opens with Rea’s recollection of Rose doing headstands every morning while she was growing up. A practicing yogi, Rose was told by her guru that yogis could travel through time and communicate with their ancestors using their “heart radio.” WISDOM GONE WILD moves to the tempo of this heart radio: Rose sees Rea as her sister who died at fifteen, takes on Rea’s memories as her own, and calls out to Akiko, Rose’s name at birth, changed by a former teacher. Communing with ancestors, her deceased relatives, and her daughter in Chicago, Rose holds space for her ancestors and children to speak.
Admission includes outdoor post-screening reception.