"They can break both my arms and legs and it could never hurt me as much as losing you, Lily."
- Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid)
New York Times - 12/23/1990
"...The deep sorrow and controlled anger of COME SEE THE PARADISE make its attack on bigotry all the more forceful....Fine, delicate performances..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/17/1991
"...Director Parker keeps breaking down barriers, striking out audaciously..."
During the late 1930s, with the Second World War feverishly brewing, Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid), a struggling union activist working as a film projectionist in a San Francisco movie theater, falls in love with beautiful Japanese-American Lily Kawamura (Tamlyn Tomita). Against Lily's father's wishes (and contrary to the California law of the time forbidding intermarriage), Jack and Lily wed and have a child. Their marriage flourishes until the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and America enters World War II. Japanese Americans--including Lily and her family--are herded into concentration camps by the thousands. Jack is drafted into the army but is prepared to risk life and limb to see his family again.
The predominantly Japanese American cast paints a stunning collective portrait of the toll taken by the rash and racist internment of Japanese-Americans during the war. Director Alan Parker, as he did in MISSISSIPPI BURNING, uses his acute, convincing storytelling abilities to take a brave look at a dark episode in America's past.
Tear Jerker |
Theatrical Release |
World War II |
Filming was done in California, Oregon, and Washington.
The title of the film comes from a poem by Russian poetess, Ahkmatova.