Star Festival: A Return to Japan

Star Festival is an interactive cinéma vérité style documentary based on the experiences of Shigeru Miyagawa returning to his hometown of Hiratsuka after living for many years in the U.S. The documentary footage captures the places he visits in the town and the comments of people who live there, triggering his memories of childhood. The non-linear narrative places the viewer in the position of explorer who finds a lost PDA filled with these clips and attempts to reconstruct the journey to find the owner. The interactive version builds on these vignettes to add language components, and historical and cultural information. The core of the application focuses on what it means to belong to several cultural heritages.

This excerpt from the “Star Festival” interactive documentary, Produced by Botticelli Interactive for MIT. Filmed by Michael Roper. MIT © 1998

In an increasingly complex and diversifying world, it is through the understanding of the personal histories and cultures of other people that we come to recognize the common bond we all share and begin the work of building the global community of the future. ‘Star Festival’ does this with style and luminous humanity.
— George Takei, actor, commenting on "Star Festival: A Return to Japan"