Born and raised in the U.S., Jenise Treuting graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication in the States before moving to Japan. After studying Japanese, she earned her master’s degree in journalism from Doshisha University in Kyoto, specifically studying the view of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in Japanese and American society. The decision to explore cross-cultural issues through documentary came while walking back from an evening spent in a pub in Njivice, Croatia talking with young men from the island about the war that had just ended there. After finishing a summer intensive course on filmmaking at Bigakko in Tokyo, Jenise spent a year as a research student at the Video & Media Arts Department of Kyoto Seika University.

When I began working on this documentary, my intention was to examine how people in Japan, the country where I now permanently reside, and people in America, the country where I was born and raised, view each other and how they believe those on the other side ofacross the Pacific view them. As global events unfolded, Tthe more I delved into the subject as global events unfolded the more my focus began to shift. Living in Japan for most of my adult life, I thought I had learned to navigate between two cultures, neither of which is completely home anymore. But in early 2002 I returned to Japan after four years abroad. Bush had already begun to strong-arm the world into confrontation with Iraq, and Koizumi was positively beaming after having been invited to the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. As I interviewed people in Kyoto, Osaka, and San Francisco in an increasingly tense political atmosphere, I became more and more acutely aware of what it was to be an American living overseas, specifically especially one living in Japan. I began to see my day-to-day cross-cultural experiences reflected on the global political stage. The same Eelements affecting my day-to-day life also affected interactions between cultures, between governments, and between individuals. These interwoven layers are, I believe, inextricably linked and no changeó ñ no matter how positiveó ñ can be effective or enduring if it does not occur on all three levels. With this film, I hope to paint a picture of life in two culturees that had become responsible both politically and socially for the destruction devastation of life in a third. My hope is that this picture can be a catalyst for discussion and action.

Directed and edited by
Jenise Treuting

Music produced by
Lawson White

Pillbox written and performed by
Dave Golden

Original score written
and performed by
Jason Treuting
Masa Dai Takahashi
Lawson White

Subtitles by
Tomoko Ishii-Kabigting
Jenise Treuting

Opening titles and graphics by
Clayton Design

Additional footage by
Jim Sandler
John Slavic
People’s Video Network

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