Last month, Eight East Productions released its second feature film — No No Girl — written and directed by Paul Daisuke Goodman, just over a year after living through a bone marrow transplant in his fight against Leukemia.
The film, which premiered at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on August 20, focuses on a family who uncovers their forgotten history related to the Japanese American concentration camps of World War II, and how those events have been shaping their family ever since.
Goodman, whose grandfather was incarcerated at the Rohwer Camp in Arkansas and later enlisted in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team, wrote this story with his own family history in mind.
“It may have been a long time ago but we’re still dealing with the repercussions from [incarceration] today. Families had everything taken from them, over a hundred thousand people were shipped off because they were of Japanese descent,” says Goodman.
No No Girl will be Goodman’s second feature film and stars newcomer Mika Dyo, alongside Academy Award winner Chris Tashima with an ensemble of Japanese American talent. Goodman, who has been undergoing treatments for ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) for over six years, began production on No No Girl shortly before his cancer relapsed in December, 2020.
He spent the next five months in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and eventually a bone marrow transplant from his sibling, Laurie Goodman. By late April 2021, he was released from the City of Hope Cancer Treatment Center and began filming No No Girl in November of the same year, with Laurie as his producer.
“After two films through cancer, I can see how I use art to cope with my trauma and pain,” Goodman, now 30, said in an interview with VoyageLA. “If I say we are making a film, I am saying I believe I will live.”
Those interestd in watching the premiere can be found on the Japanese American National Museum website.