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The Wash

Directed by Michael Toshiyuki Uno

Cast: Mako, Nobu McCarthy, Sab Shimono

Eight months after his wife moves out, Nobu is still a couch grouch, in denial that his wife Masi is really gone and that his own crotchety negativity had anything to do with her leaving. The truth is, he can’t live without her. Unfortunately, despite decades together, he’s never learned how to say a single nice thing to her, even though she still swings by every week to do his laundry. What he doesn’t know is that Masi has begun to dip her toes in the senior dating pool and meets the kind and sensitive Sadao.

A deeply touching drama of the nisei coming into retirement, Michael Toshiyuki Uno’s THE WASH is the rare portrait of a generation that went through so much – the camps, raising fully-Americanized kids – and who in their old age, can finally ask themselves what it means to be happy in love. Written by Philip Kan Gotanda from his own play, THE WASH depicts both the domestic details of elder intimacy and the communal pleasures of San Jose’s Japantown, from birthday parties to the sounds of an ukulele deep into the night over empty beer cans. Starring the great Mako, Nobu McCarthy, and Sab Shimono, the film is also a showcase for former Hollywood bit players to prove that it’s never too late to shine as leads. One of the great Asian American films of the 1980s, THE WASH remains as potent and romantic as ever.

–Brian Hu

Purchase tickets to all four films in SONGS OUR ELDERS TAUGHT ME for the special price of $25 general / $20 members.

Co-Presented by Korean American Bar Association San Diego (KABA-SD), Japanese American Citizens League San Diego