95 and 6 to Go

A powerful intergenerational story about family, memory, and creativity
by
Year Released
2018
Film Length(s)
85 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL

Introduction

A resilient Japanese-American senior in Hawai’i unexpectedly collaborates with his granddaughter on her stalled romantic screenplay, inspiring him to reflect on his life of love, loss, and perseverance. Humorous and poignant, the film prompts discussions on aging, identity, creativity, and inter-generational relationships.

Featured review

Recommended!"Kimi Takesue's documentary 95 and 6 to Go is the home movie as subtle, multi-layered, self-reflexive work of art.
-Peter Keough
The Boston Globe

Synopsis

Filmmaker Kimi Takesue turns the camera on her spry Japanese-American grandfather, a retired postal worker and recent widower who has lived in Honolulu, Hawai'i for nearly a century. Amidst the solitude of his home routines – coupon clipping, rigging an improvised barbecue, lighting firecrackers on the New Year – we glimpse a vibrant inner life.

Grandpa Tom immerses himself in his daily rituals until he shows an unexpected interest in his granddaughter’s stalled romantic screenplay and offers advice both shrewd and surprising. Tom’s script revisions serve as a vehicle for his memories of love, loss and perseverance to surface.

Shot over six years, this intimate meditation on family and absence expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.

95 and 6 to Go explores important themes:

Intergenerational Relationships: 95 and 6 to Go illustrates a special bond between a grandfather and granddaughter and how different generations come together through a common artistic endeavor.

Japanese American Identity in Hawai’i: The film provides an important historical representation of a distinct but little known generation of Japanese-Americans in Hawai’i who were not interned during World War II.

Positive representations of Aging: Grandpa Tom is a man in his 90s who is sharp, funny, and full of vitality. Audiences of all ages have been inspired by Tom’s youthful attitude and determination to live.

Documenting Family Histories: 95 and 6 to Go motivates viewers and students to document, preserve, and share their specific family and cultural histories.

Reviews

Stunning and profound, offering delicate reflections on life and cinema.
-Apolline Caron-Ottavi
The Montreal Gazette
10 stars out of 10"Extraordinary...a study of loss and resilience, a celebration of poetry and philosophy in everyday life.
-Cynthia Fuchs
Popmatters
The intensely moving documentary 95 and 6 To Go by Kimi Takesue takes seriously the enterprise of creating an archive of one's ancestors...Highly recommended viewing for studies of art, aging, Asian American family life, film and media studies, gender studies and cultures of the diaspora.
Celine Parrenas Shimizu
Professor of Cinema, San Francisco State University
Poignant and funny, woven from family, history, geography and grief, this documentary had me at its opening shot.... Takesue has drawn a detailed cinematic portrait of what makes every life exemplary and ordinary, quotidian and sublime, and not forgotten.
-Frances Bartkowski
Professor of English Rutgers University-Newark
An intensely moving, affectionate and at times humorous depiction of a remarkable man all filmed through a lens of kindness and love.
-Katherine Soroya
Open Democracy
Used as required viewing in an independent Film Studies course I taught on the use of cultural and historical iconography in film, 95 and 6 to Go served as a great model for my students for how craft can be applied to a subject without sacrificing emotional resonance. 95 and 6 to Go not only serves as a structural model for the narrative progression of a story but it also represents the authenticity we look for in a documentary. Kimi Takesue has provided a film that will both move those in the audience and instruct those trying to learn the craft.
Van Jordan
Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor, The University of Michigan
A funny, imaginative and warm film about the close relationship – and creative collaboration! – between grandfather and grandchild.
- CPH:DOX Film Festival
Copenhagen, Denmark
95 and 6 to Go provided the perfect opening night screening for the 24th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival "Endings/Beginnings," and we were honored to welcome Kimi Takesue back to share her exquisite, intimate film. What a pleasure for our academic and community-based audience to enjoy such a detailed, generous and passionate exchange during the Q&A with this brilliant award-winning independent filmmaker.
-Catherine Portuges
Director of the Multicultural Film Festival, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
An intimate approach to beautiful old age. With patience and an attentive camera that follows the daily routines of an old man, the documentary elaborates on and interweaves the present and the past of an ordinary man who proves to be exceptional.
-Natalia Trzenko
La Nacion, Argentina
An extraordinary personal documentary.... 95 and 6 to Go is a winner.
-Brian Hu
Artistic Director- San Diego Asian Film Festival
4 stars out of 5"95 and 6 to Go is a touching portrayal of Tom Takesue, an American-Japanese widower whose own life stories are uncovered as he takes on the role of un-official script supervisor to his granddaughter's stalled feature film project...Tom Takesue, is every-man, every-woman and for that, the audience will be pleased that the director convinced her once very private grandfather, that he should become the subject of a movie.
-Rebecca Towers
FILM NEWS UK
The film is in many ways a mutually somber 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.
 - Jay Kuehner, Cinemascope
 - Jay Kuehner, Cinemascope
95 and 6 to Go, gently explores the complexities of a man who has avoided both inspection and introspection his whole life… Among other things, the film explores the ethics of intensely intimate filmmaking.
-Patricia Auferheide
International Documentary Association
Takesue finds in the editing room an absolutely personal and intimate story that, with flashes of humanity, finds a universal resonance."

- Diego Brodersen, Página 12
Argentina
RECOMMENDED by Picturehouse Cinemas-London, UK:"...the true value of Kimi's film is how evocative it is of our own memories of family relationships. And what's more, how incredible that feeling of cross-generational affirmation is, when you sit down with someone who has lived a different life at a different time and still get each other. Whether you have those memories of your own grandparents or not, for 95 mins, Grandpa Tom becomes the perfect surrogate – you'll wish it was longer.
-Kristy Jones
Picturehouse Cinemas, London, UK
95 and 6 to Go is that rarity: a film that makes you want to be better, do better. Be aware of mortality approaching so that you can be present to the experiences of those further down the path than you are.
- Sheila O’Malley
RogerEbert.com

Awards and Screenings

o WINNER: Special Jury Prize- Best Feature Documentary – Los Angeles Asian Pacific International Film Festival, 2017
o WINNER: Special Jury Prize- Best Feature Documentary - Indie Memphis, 2017
o WINNER: Honorable Mention- Best Feature Documentary- Austin Asian American Film Festival, 2017
o European Doc Alliance Award Nominee, 2017
o CPH:DOX Film Festival, Denmark, 2017
o Dok Leipzig Film Festival, Germany, 2017
o BAFICI-Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Argentina, 2017
o FID: Marseille, France, 2017
o Open City Documentary Festival, London, UK, 2017
o Sarasota Film Festival, Florida, 2017
o CAAM Fest, San Francisco, 2017
o Nippon Visions Film Festival, Frankfurt, Germany, 2017
o San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2017
o Transcinema International Film Festival, Peru, 2017
o Multicultural Film Festival, University of Massachusetts, 2017
o Doclisboa, Portugal, 2016
o DOC NYC, New York, 2016
o RIDM: Montreal International Documentary Film Festival, Canada, 2016
o Hawai’i International Film Festival, 2016
o Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio, 2018
o DocYard, Cambridge, 2018
o Museum of Moving Image, Queens, New York , 2018

Director Commentary

While growing up in Hawai’i, I never knew my Japanese American grandfather, Tom Takesue, harbored creative interests. I never saw him read a novel or talk about art. For me, he existed on the fringes; he was a pragmatic, hard-working, authoritarian grandfather who consistently reinforced the importance of family obligation and a steady job.

Unlike my grandfather who had limited educational and career opportunities, I was able to attend graduate school and pursue artistic ambitions. When I was at the peak of development on my first feature film project, a cross-cultural love story, I was shocked when my grandfather became intrigued with the screenplay. While slurping noodles or munching on toast, he offered suggestions about a catchy title and happy ending.

After the death of my grandmother, I returned to Hawai’i to provide support and assistance. My grandfather was far from sentimental about her death, already keen to find a new companion. The optimism surrounding my feature film project had faded as I waited for the producers to secure financing. My grandfather expressed his fear of dying alone.

We were both in periods of transition and emotional loss. During this time, we finally came to know one another; I offered him company and he offered advice on my film project. His frank critiques reflected his concerns about love, mortality, and the recent death of my grandma. In stark contrast to his romantic and idealized suggestions for my screenplay, he shared a personal stories of life filled with loss and regret. Although his imagination was animated by the screenplay he displayed increasing skepticism about my project coming to fruition, warning me to move on with my life: “If you wait for this film, you will wait forever.”

Life and artistic paths are typically filled with digressions and setbacks but sometimes lead to unanticipated discoveries. 95 AND 6 TO GO celebrates an unlikely artistic collaboration between a granddaughter and grandfather and how an inter-generational bond is forged through art.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning
  • Director's Commentary
  • DVD Extras

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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