Film

The Sirota Family and the 20th Century
FILM

The Sirota Family and the 20th Century

Thursday, November 17, 2011

© Leo Sirota Production Committee.

シロタ家の20世紀 (Shirota-ke no nijyu seiki)
2008, DigiBeta, 93 min.
Directed by Tomoko Fujiwara.

Introduction and Q&A with Beate Sirota Gordon, former Performing Arts Director of Japan Society and Asia Society, and a member of the team that worked under Douglas MacArthur on the postwar Constitution of Japan. An outspoken defender of Article 9, the war-renouncing clause of the Japanese Constitution, Gordon drafted the women's rights clause in the postwar Japanese Constitution, still considered a landmark document.

Followed by a reception.

"This film is a requiem to people who have been persecuted and died in war."
- Tomoko Fujiwara, film director

This documentary film follows the extraordinary story of the Sirotas, a Jewish family originally from Ukraine, and their long exile from their motherland as they moved to Vienna, Tokyo, Warsaw, Paris and then the United States. It is a family tale that almost reads like a miniature history of the 20th century.

The film also pays tribute to the life of Beate Sirota Gordon, the daughter of internationally renowned pianist Leo Sirota, who lived in Japan for two decades from 1929. Leo Sirota mentored Japanese musicians who later gained fame themselves.

Beate Sirota Gordon's contribution to Japanese women's equality has made her an American icon in Japan.

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