Good Luck Soup Interactive

Matthew Hashiguchi 

Good Luck Soup Interactive

Good Luck Soup is a transmedia documentary project comprised of a feature-length film and an interactive documentary. The interactive component, Good Luck Soup Interactive, is a web-based documentary featuring a collection of stories on the Japanese American and Japanese Canadian experience from before, during and after WWII that have been uploaded from the public and gathered by our team. Individual stories from different generations, people and places unfold in a series of seven chapters that when viewed together reflect the universal themes of immigration, integration and identity.

Two specific areas that I’ve focused on are Reframe, remix, remediate – interactive approaches to non-fiction archives and Open Space documentary – open processes, open societies, open minds: the potential of hyperlocal collaborative storytelling. So often, the WWII Interment Camp story overtakes the diverse history and identity of Japanese North Americans. With Good Luck Soup Interactive, we’ve created an open and collaborative storytelling process where any Japanese North American could shape the project narrative by submitting a personal story or experience as it relates to their Japanese heritage.

Each story is then placed into one of our seven chapters and when viewed sequentially, presents a communal narrative on immigration, integration and identity. Each story is told through audio or text and a visual element. These visual aides originate from various personal, government and professional archives and take the form of family photographs, home movies and even government letters, descriptions or interrogations that were part of “War Relocation Files” kept by the U.S. Government on each incarcerate.

Good Luck Soup Interactive also utilizes the National Archives’ collection of images and films that were taken as part of the Farm Security Administration’s initiative in documenting the World War II Internment Camps. Two particularly well-known photographers, Ansel Adams and Dorthea Lange, made their entire collection of Farm Security Administration photographs available to the public and these images are used throughout the interactive film to illustrate stories, experiences and facts. This project was created with a transmedia approach and is capable of being experienced through a website, feature film and gallery exhibition.