95 AND 6 TO GO reviewed by Cinemascope at RIDM Festival

"A film that perhaps less wittingly revolves around mealtime: Kimi Takesue’s 95 And 6 To Go, which features the director’s grandfather on camera preparing or indulging home meals while reflecting on his past, as well as his granddaughter’s unrealized script for a cross-cultural love story. What initially feels like a conducive format for a mise of meta proportions, in which a speculative fiction is scaffolded within a documentary, reveals itself as an affectionate and occasionally circumspect portrait of familial discovery, a version on the home movie that reaches back a century to reveal a backstory ripe with love and loss but absent any shattering disclosures. The pragmatic and unsentimental widower, who has spent most of his life on Honolulu, is none too adoring of his departed wife, though his granddaughter’s persistent questioning no doubt lends to his disaffected screen persona. An unforced rhyme emerges between subject and director, in which economic hard times forced a career evaluation in each: for elder Tom, the depression saw him clamouring to gain sufficient weight to meet postal worker requirements, while artist Kimi watched her feature funding dry up when recession hit. The film is in many ways a mutually sombre homecoming; the proverbial return to care for one’s elders becomes an active accounting of the past and provokes an unforeseen source of humble creativity. The subject of Japanese American identity during the war is broached as a matter of course, thus rendering the now quotidian gestures of this resilient nonagenarian all the more affecting: doing half pushups in the kitchen, rigging a makeshift charcoal grill in the garage, and going all-out pyrotechnic for the 4th of July. "