Family histories often contain secrets and scandals unknown to members of the current generation. Those secrets may contain traces of violence and other horrors, which is what first-generation American Eliaichi Kimaro discovered as she looked back at her father’s history in the movie “A Lot Like You”, which is being screened Friday, Feb. 8 in McCready Hall.
A mixed-race woman with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother, she began filming her voyage as she traced her Chagga culture back to Tanzania. Her travels included interviews with family and other tribal members about her culture; however, as she uncovered her history, she began noticing a cycle of violence that struck an emotional chord with her life in the United States.
Kimaro learned about her father’s tribe’s history of abuse, especially against women, which resonated with experiences of her own. Although part of her wanted to shove the entire journey behind her, she remembered that one of her aunts asked that now that she knows their stories, what would she do about it?
She decided to share their stories, and since being released, her film has won various awards, including Best Documentary Feature by the Montreal International Black Film Festival in 2011 and Best Documentary by the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in 2012.
The Undergraduate Student Senate proudly sponsors this upcoming screening as a part of its Undergraduate Leadership Conference. Director Eliaichi Kimaro will be there to host a Q&A session after the film. She will also deliver the conference keynote address on Saturday, February 9, which is open to Pacific University students, faculty, and staff who register.