Film: Yellow Brotherhood

I just found out about this documentary film called Yellow Brotherhood (released in 2004), a group of Asian American former gang members who create a “self-help” group to help their community in the 1960s. I had met the filmmaker a few years ago through a mutual friend in LA. We were chatting at a party, and I remember hearing him talk about his interests in film and activism, and passion to document the histories of the Japanese American and Asian/Pacific Islander American communities, particularly from the our generation’s perspective (mid-20’s). It’s great to see the actualization of one of his projects.

While I was looking through the YB website, I also learned about the Garden Grove 5 incident, which involved a Japanese American who was arrested for protesting a Minutemen raly.

Below is some text from Blacklava, which has a synopsis of the YB film.

Awarded BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, YELLOW BROTHERHOOD is a personal documentary about friendship and finding community through a self-help group turned basketball team that began in the 1960s. Filmmaker Tad Nakamura met Brett and Khi-min when they were six years old on a community basketball team called the “Venice YB.” As they grew, they learned that YB stood for “Yellow Brotherhood,” a self-help group formed by a gang called the “Ministers” to help youth get off drugs. Only later did they realize how the tradition of Yellow Brotherhood’s dedication to personal and political development helped them through their own problems and empowered them to carry on its legacy of creating and serving community.


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