Strawberry Fields | Chicago Reader

Strawberry Fields

Irene (Suzy Nakamura) is a pyromaniac teenager in the 70s who's frustrated by her mother's refusal to acknowledge the part of the family's past spent in the internment camps in California. Her sister's discovery of a photograph from that time spurs Irene to uncover this hidden aspect of her Japanese-American heritage, an endeavor she thinks is complicated by her boyfriend, who's so supportive it makes her angry. The activist agenda of another couple they know puts a political spin on Irene's quest that seems contrived. There isn't really enough material here for a feature. Irene's repetitious hallucinatory and spiritual experiences are delineated with an undiscriminating use of slow motion and flashback. Nakamura is saddled with the stage business of compulsively lighting matches, the kind of behavior that may simulate the acting out of a troubled adolescent who can't get any perspective on herself. But since Kerri Sakamoto's script, based on a story by director Rea Tajiri, doesn't seem to have much perspective on the character either, viewers are left in the dark.

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