Maui Arts & Entertainment

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center showing free movie “American Pastime” on Oct. 8

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“American Pastime” is a 2007 film starring Gary Cole, Aaron Yoo, Leonardo Lam and Sarah Drew.

“American Pastime” is a stirring film about the roots of Japanese-American baseball that grew out of internment camps at the start of World War II.

The movie will be shown for free on Oct. 8 at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Kahului. It is part of the Monthly Movie Matinee series sponsored by Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans.

Doors open at 1 p.m. and the films begin at 1:30 p.m.. While there is no cost, reservations are required by calling 808-244-6862.


“American Pastime,” released in 2007, is a fictional film set in the Topaz War Relocation Center, a Utah prison camp that held thousands of people during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. 

While the film is a dramatic, full-length feature film narrative, it is based on true events and depicts life inside the internment camps, where baseball was one of the major diversions from the reality of the internees’ lives.

Producer Yo Nakagawa said he was inspired by Kenichi Zenimura and his family’s experience at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, where Zenimura led the construction of a baseball field and of a league of internee baseball teams that played there.


The film won the Audience Award for Best Narrative at the 2007 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and stars Gary Cole, Aaron Yoo, Leonardo Lam and Sarah Drew.

Each film selected for the matinee series depicts the Japanese-American experience and connects individuals with larger truths and ideas about society.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center’s mission is to ignite the potential in people by inspiring them to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans. To learn more, visit


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