Back in the early years of Santa Barbara, the Chinese community and Japanese community lived across the street from each other, a Chinatown and a Japantown, living in perfect harmony on the site where Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens looks out over the Presidio. Those days are long gone, with only a few remnants remaining, but the Asian-American experience continues. That’s the subject of “Sharing Our Common Ground: The Fourth Annual Asian-American Film Series” put on by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. The three-film series starts tonight and continues until July 26, with screenings at the Alhecama Theatre.
The three films are all documentaries on the Asian-American experience and take in adopted Chinese children, Bruce Lee (born in San Francisco), and a Japanese-American homeless man who has a painful history of the internment camps in sunny California.