Watch Come See the Paradise
- 2 hr 18 min
Come See the Paradise is a heart-wrenching drama set against the backdrop of World War II and explores the plight of Japanese-Americans who were forced to live in internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Directed by Alan Parker, the film tells the story of a young couple - Jack McGurn and Lily Kawamura - who fall in love and get married amidst the rising tensions between the US and Japan. Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid) is a white American who works as a projectionist at a cinema in Los Angeles. While working one day, he meets Lily Kawamura (Tamlyn Tomita), a young Japanese-American woman who works at a local department store. Despite the cultural differences and the prejudice they face from society, the two quickly fall in love and get married in a secret ceremony. Their relationship becomes all the more complicated when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and America declares war on Japan. As a result of the attack, Japanese-Americans are subjected to mass- persecution and forced into internment camps. The Kawamura family is carted off to one such camp leaving Lily behind, and McGurn struggles to keep their love alive despite the turmoil around them. They hold on to hope, and with the help of friends and family, they try to navigate the challenges of living in a country that has turned against them. McGurn's position as a union member proves instrumental in his wife's release, culminating in an emotional reunion after over two years apart. However, their joy is short-lived as Lily faces further discrimination as she is unable to get a job due to her Japanese ancestry. Through it all, the couple holds on to their love, refusing to be defeated by the hatred and oppression they experience. The film provides an emotionally charged exploration of a dark period in American history that has often been overlooked. It presents both the resilience of the human spirit and the devastating consequences of systemic racism with equal weight. The movie goes beyond the familiar faces of the war, giving voice to a largely unrepresented community that was stripped of their rights and forced to live in squalid conditions without the government looking out for their interests. Dennis Quaid's portrayal of Jack McGurn is powerful and one of his memorable performances. He rises to the challenge of playing a working-class American who is faced with complicated racial issues, showcasing his character's inner turmoil with subtle nuance. Tamlyn Tomita is equally impressive in her role, lending a sense of authenticity to her portrayal of Lily. Sab Shimono brings depth to his role as Lily's father who is forced to leave his business, home, and life behind to live in an internment camp. His and other Japanese-American characters' struggles represent the harsh reality of the time and the importance of the film's message. Come See the Paradise is a masterpiece of storytelling that sheds light on one of the darkest periods in American history, and how people's lives can be uprooted and changed overnight. Though it was not praised as much during its initial release, critics have since acknowledged the film's powerful portrayal of love and courage amidst adversity, and it now stands as a landmark film that teaches the right lessons about American history. The movie will leave you with an emotional touch and a better understanding of the importance of acknowledging and fighting oppression.