Film poster for “Wisdom Gone Wild”. Elderly woman smiles amid yellow curtains.
Film poster for “Wisdom Gone Wild”. Elderly woman smiles amid yellow curtains.
A vibrant tender cine-poem; a filmmaker collaborates with her Nisei mother as they confront the painful curious reality of wisdom ‘gone wild’ in the shadows of dementia


Regular price $129.00



Dementia • Elders • Caregiving • Japanese American Life & Culture • Mothers & Daughters • Family •  Buddhism • Alzheimers • Spirituality

Date of Completion: 2022 | Run Time: 84 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Rea TajiriProducer: Sian Evans | Associate Producer: Reiko Tahara | Editor: Catherine Hollander | Original Music: Shakuru Tajiri | Cinematography: Christian Bruno, Dru Mungai & Rea Tajiri

In this moving and original reflection on aging, mortality, and transformation, Rea Tajiri partners with her mother, Rose Tajiri Noda, to create a film about the final sixteen years of Rose’s life as a person living with dementia. Together, they nurture their connection through listening, art, and music. Rose performs songs from her youth, providing the soundtrack for time travel, as we witness her evolution across nine decades of living. Delicately weaving between past and present, parenting and being parented, the film reflects on the unreliability of memory and the desire to reinvent one's own life when memories fail us.

Filmmaker Magazine | by Lauren Wissot in Directors, Interviews
"[A] celebration of life in all its remarkable phases."

Philadelphia Inquirer | Bedhatri Choudhury, Arts and Entertainment Editor 
“..Without falling into self-centered trappings of nostalgic family documentaries, Wisdom is a patient meditation on life, time, and love, and a confrontation with monumental loss…Blurs the lines by which we define ourselves and the roles we play in love… a slow burn that singes but doesn’t sever.”

Disappointment Media | Review by Joseph Fayed
Rating: 4/5 "Wisdom Gone Wild features an unintentionally unreliable narrator and her daughter, who make for a beautiful story."

FF2 Media | Reanne Rodrigues
"The unraveling of memories and intimate discoveries of her mother’s inner world that would otherwise be forgotten in a shroud of silence, come to life in Wisdom Gone Wild — an evocative, nostalgic documentary that follows Rea’s 16-year caregiving journey."

Overly Honest Movie Reviews | Chris Jones
"The film transcends the boundaries of traditional documentaries, celebrating life in its twilight years. Tajiri invites us to look beyond the conventional dementia narratives, offering a story that emphasizes the inherent value and dignity of every phase of life."

Colorado College | Brandon Shimoda, Poet, Assistant Professor
"An intimate documentary film that engages the imagination to grapple with dementia and Japanese American history.”

BOMB Magazine | Brandon Shimoda
"This is a beautiful expression of what it means to undergo the long transformation through dementia into the afterlife."

American University | Patricia Aufderheide, University Professor School of Communication
“...a vérité portrait of a mother who, in her dementia, maintains a sense of humor, a stubborn autonomy, and occasionally a glimpse of who she once was…The complex dynamics of an immigrant family are revealed…”

Documentary Magazine | Patricia Aufderheide
"And then there was Rea Tajiri’s warmly loving but unsentimental Wisdom Gone Wild, a vérité portrait of a mother who, in her dementia, maintains a sense of humor, a stubborn autonomy, and occasionally a glimpse of who she once was. The complex dynamics of an immigrant family are revealed in the efforts to maintain a relationship with her."

Nichi Bei Times | Soji Kashiwagi, Journalist
“... instead of focusing on the frustration caregivers often go through, Tajiri offers hope through her use of improvisation and humor…a pathway to connection through listening, art and music.”

cinéSPEAK | Hansen Bursic, Journalist
“WISDOM GONE WILD, takes a radical new approach to telling the story of memory loss, one which rejects tragedy narratives and embraces joy.”

Center for Asian American Media | Donald Young, Program Director
"...Tajiri takes us on mysterious and probing journeys…. through the lens of heroic everyday women.”

X-TRA Art Journal | Nora Khan, Editor
“...With radical retellings, Tajiri gives us a powerful understanding of dementia as transition, as a new self…”

Asian Arts Initiative | Anne Ishii, Executive Director
"Tajiri relishes in the poetics of personhood…”

Tiffany Sia, Founder of Speculative Place, Filmmaker/Writer
“A brilliant film ripping apart memory.... and our contracts with history and family as subjects…”

San Francisco Chronicle
"How the Class of 1997 changed Asian American filmmaking forever..."

Line One: Your Health Connection 
Interview with director Rea Tajiri, hosted by Prentiss Pemberton