ON THIS PAGE:   |   Ticket Info    |   About the Film    |   Trailer & Media    |   Awards    |   Filmmaker Bio    |   Post-Film Discussion    |   About MR/DD    |  
Click here for online tickets
Essential Event Info

W H A T :

  • Director Linda Hattendorf, USA, 2006
  • 35mm, TRT 74 min.
  • Genre: Documentary, NR (Not Rated)
  • Post-Film Discussion.
  • Have Lunch at the Museum before/after the screenings.

  • W H E N :

  • Saturday, April 12:   2 screenings, at 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm

  • Doors open at 30 minutes before each screening

    W H E R E :

  • Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park/Mt. Adams.
  • Easy Access, Free Parking
    click for Directions & Map

  • T I C K E T S :

  • Cincinnati Art Museum,
  • Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for Art Museum members and students with valid ID.

    $7 tickets are ONLY available online, by phone, at the Museum, and at the door subject to availability.



  • tollfree 1-877-548-3237

  • at the Art Museum or by calling 513 721 ARTS

  • ...and at these locations:

    ($9 tix only, cash only),
    click the links below for maps:

  • Hamilton County Board of MR/DD
    1520 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills 45206
    513 559 6672 or 513 794 3300

  • Clifton-Ludlow Ave. -
    Sitwell's Coffee House
    513 281 7487

  • Mt. Lookout Square -
    Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters

    513 871 8626

  • Northside-Hamilton Ave -
    Shake It Music & Video
    513 591 0123

  • Downtown Cincinnati -
    Coffee Emporium
    513 651 5483

  • Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability.

    Please select a video player:

    Windows Media
    This version requires the free
    Windows Media Player.

    - High 9.7MB -

    - Dial Up 1.2MB -

    This version requires the free
    Quicktime Player.

    - High 10.5MB -

    National & Local Media Reviews & Interviews
    Click here for interviews and local press coverage

    Back to Top of Page

    Post-Film Discussion Leaders

    Joe Erpenbeck & Bob Moore

    Joe Erpenbeck

    Mr. Erpenbeck is the supervisor of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Team of the Hamilton County Board of MRDD.

    Joe's work with people with disabilities spans more than twenty years and covers a broad range: sheltered workshops, supported employment, group homes, and case management. In addition, he sits on the Board of the Ohio Self-Determination Association.

    For the past eight years he has assisted in serving 5700 people with disabilities determine out how to shift personal control and choice to the individuals served. Currently Joe connects people in the community based on their gifts and talents.

    Bob Moore

    Mr. Moore is the executive director of the Interfaith Hospitality Network, a position he has held for the past seven years. IHN is a national organization, whose Cincinnati branch was established in 1991, that provides shelter, meals and support services to families without homes.
    Filmmaker Bio
    Linda Hattendorf

    For Linda Hattendorf, coming to Cincinnati and speaking with film audiences at the screening of her film has the excitement of a homecoming - the Queen City is where it all began for her.

    She puts it this way: "We've traveled to Europe, Japan and across America with this film, but coming home is special - my family, old friends, familiar places, this is great!"

    "We lived in College Hill when Linda was little," says Linda's mother Ruth, "and I remember taking her to the Cincinnati Art Museum each week for drawing lessons." Later, the family moved to the East Side, and Linda graduated from Anderson High School. After that, she attended college and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati with dual majors in Art History and English Literature.

    After college, Linda served vegi-burgers at the New World Food Shop on Ludlow Avenue before joining the staff at Dramatics Magazine, published by the International Thespian Society. And she also worked at Prologue, the newsletter of Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park.

    Linda left the familiar confines of Cincinnati to attend Radcliffe's Publishing Procedures Course at Harvard University, and then moved to New York City to work at Time Inc. There, she earned a master's degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research, and began to work in documentary film.

    For more than a decade now, Ms. Hattendorf has been working in the New York documentary film community and has had the opportunity to interact with outstanding documentary directors such as Ken Burns, Barbara Kopple, Josh Pais and Julia Pimsleur. Linda's editing work has aired on PBS, A&E, and The Sundance Channel as well as in theatrical venues and at many festivals.

    Film Credits

    Director & Co-Producer:
        The Cats of Mirikitani

        7th Street, dir Josh Pais
        Brother Born Again, dir Julia Pimsleur
        Jin Shin Jyutsu, dir Nancy Recant
        On the Road Home: A Spiritual Journey Guided by Remarkable Women, dir Christina Lundberg
        In Debt We Trust, dir Danny Schechter

    Associate Editor:
        Bearing Witness dir Barbara Kopple
        The Choice '96, dir Helen Whitney

    Contributing Editor:
        American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii, dir Lisette Flanary

        Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take 2 1/2, dir William Greaves

        The West, dir Ken Burns

    Back to Top of Page

    DVD now available: here

    Building on sellout premiere screenings last November, Cincinnati World Cinema is proud to announce that CWC and The Hamilton County Board of MR/DD will present two encore showings of THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI on Saturday April 12.

    This event will benefit MR/DD programs and highlight the success of that agency in providing housing, counseling and support services for local individuals with disabilities. Those who missed the initial film dates can now see this truly inspiring and life-changing documentary and also enhance positive outcomes in our own community similar to those shown in the film.

    In a simple, honest and personal way, this film conveys

       The power of friendship and compassion to combat
    injustice, racism, isolation, aging and homelessness.

    The healing and restorative power of art.


    LINDA HATTENDORF'S THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI is one of those rare birds in the documentary film world -- a first directorial work, made on a limited budget, that engages and entertains while addressing serious subjects. Although the film is sobering, "Cats" has a lot of character thanks to the film's principal persona, colorful octogenerian Jimmy Mirikitani, who tends to be opinionated, stubborn and a bit of a rascal.

  • Mirikitani's life-long passion for, and devotion to, his art, which has sustained him from bright beginnings, through anger and isolation, to peace and harmony.
  • As a documentarian, Linda Hattendorf has captured Mirikitani's metamorphosis, moving from obscurity to vitality, from subsistence to purpose. As a person, Hattendorf was able to extend a helping hand to Jimmy, which figures significantly in the outcome.
  • On a larger scale, the film invites the viewer to contemplate issues in our history and society that merit examination and discussion.
  • In the end we care deeply about Jimmy and come away with heightened awareness of the circumstances that have impacted thousands of people like him -- people in internment camps, people entering old age without a safety net and those who find themselves homeless. The bottom line demonstrates that friendship and compassion, especially the one-on-one variety, can make a difference in the world.

    We urge you to see this heart-warming, sensitive and uplifting film while the opportunity exists.

    About The Film

    THIS IS THE STORY OF TSUTOMU MIRIKITANI, known as "Jimmy," born in Sacramento California, raised in Hiroshima, who returned to the States in 1938 to mount a career as an artist.  Jimmy's misfortunes began when he, along with more than one hundred thousand Japanese Americans, was imprisoned in the U.S. government Internment Camps at the outset of World War II. Through Jimmy's eyes, and his story, this film speaks to that ordeal.

    IT IS THE STORY OF ONE MAN'S STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE mistreatment, and his eventual attainment of modest equilibrium.  It is the story of how this delicate balance was disrupted and of Mirikitani's subsequent existence as an aging homeless person, creating art on the street for survival.

    IT IS THE STORY OF LIFE in New York City in the months preceding 9-11-2001, and the impact upon the octogenarian Mirikitani as the twin towers came down that September day, echoing the loss of his beloved Hiroshima over fifty years earlier.

    IT IS ALSO A STORY WITH A HAPPY ENDING. Mirikitani was literally pulled off the streets and out of the cloud of toxic fallout on that fateful date by a Good Samaritan.  As a result we have the story of Mirikitani's reconnection with society, his positive experience with New York's social service safety net; and of his ability, at advanced age, to overcome the wounds of time, to heal, to forgive and find family members lost for decades.

    AND, THERE IS A BACK STORY, perhaps as significant as the frontline documentary we see on the screen. The Good Samaritan who befriended Mirikitani encountered Jimmy many months before 9-11 and took an interest in his artwork, his personal history and his well-being.  That person was Linda Hattendorf, a film editor, a behind-the-scenes professional whose work involves the shaping and creation of final cuts for a number of prominent documentary filmmakers.

    HATTENDORF's EXPERIENCE WITH JIMMY MIRIKITANI moved her to document his story on film. Against the backdrop of changing seasons in New York, this film began as a study of an unconventional artist living on the street.  With the advent of 9-11 and the revelation of Jimmy's life history, the project evolved into a detective story with the filmmaker personally involved in searching out facts and solutions that could improve Mirikitani's situation.  It seems that Ms. Hattendorf is not a person inclined to seek notoriety or the "lime-light" and this trait is aptly conveyed as she stays off camera while the film focuses on Jimmy, not Linda's role in helping him.

    "I want people to feel history ... to understand the lingering trauma of war and discrimination and the healing power of friendship and art. We are all one family."       ~ director Linda Hattendorf

    WHAT MS. HATTENDORF'S own modesty and humility prevent her from saying, others have said instead:

    "Hattendorf's spiritual practice of hospitality proves to be life-transforming. This is the kind of documentary which touches the heart and reveals a genuine reverence for life and those courageous souls who have creatively survived despite great suffering and loss."   ~Spirituality & Practice

    "With Ms. Hattendorf's generous assistance, Jimmy finally makes the necessary connections to reconcile himself with history's cavalier treatment of all his youthful aspirations. Ms. Hattendorf's is truly and profoundly a "found film," and it is deeply moving enough to be fondly remembered at year's end-and long after."
      ~The New York Observer

    "...a movie that evolves naturally from the filmmaker's compassion for her subject; as much as possible, she remains off camera, and her immense act of charity is never permitted to become the film's focus. Instead this remarkable documentary offers a brief but satisfying look at a defiantly self-sufficient life."
      ~ The New York Times

    "The Cats of Mirikitani, is a treasure of personal filmmaking, ... completely devoid of pretensions or aspirations beyond simple, intimate, storytelling."   ~Cinematical


    Throughout the U.S. and around the world -- from the Midwest to the Mediterranean, from Dallas to Durbin South Africa, from Tribeca to Tokyo; festival juries and festival audiences (discriminating viewers with high expectations, like those who attend CWC), have consistently recognized The Cats of Mirikitani with their votes.

    That this recognition would accrue to a first effort by a new director speaks immutably to the message and overall impact of this film. Awards earned to-date include:


    Best of Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival
    Winner, Grand Prize, Documentary Feature, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Winner, Best Picture, Japanese Eyes Section, Tokyo International Film Festival
    Winner, Grand Jury Award, San Diego Asian American Film Festival
    Winner, Best New Director, Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival
    Winner, Norwegian Peace Film Award, Tromso International Film Festival, Tromso Norway
    Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Bermuda Film Festival
    Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Big Muddy Film Festival, Illinois
    Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Big Sky Film Festival, Missouri
    Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Dallas Asian American Film Festival
    Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Durango Independent Film Festival, Colorado
    Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland
    Winner, Best Documentary, Hope and Dreams Film Festival, New Jersey
    Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Philadelphia Film Festival
    Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Port Townsend Film Festival, Washington
    Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
    Winner, Press Prize Best Documentary, Femmina International Film Festival, Verdal Norway
    Winner, Excellence in Filmmaking Award, Documentary, Sedona Film Festival
    Winner, Madelyn's Choice Award, Excellence in Filmmaking, Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
    Winner, Spirit Award, EBS International Documentary Festival, Korea
    Honorable Mention, Best Documentary, Boulder International Film Festival
    Honorable Mention, Best Documentary, Motovun Film Festival, Croatia


    Winner, Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival, New York
    Winner, Audience Award, Biografilm Festival - Celebration of Lives, Bolognia Italy
    Winner, Audience Award, Durango Independent Film Festival, Colorado
    Winner, Audience Award, EDOCS, Quito Ecuador
    Winner, Audience Award, FilmFestDC, Washington
    Winner, Audience Award, Hors-Ecran International Film Festival, Lyon France
    Winner, Audience Award, Paris Cinema Fest
    Runner Up, Audience Award for Feature Documentary, Palm Springs International Film Festival
    Runner Up, Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival
    Runner Up, Audience Award, Documentary, Sedona Film Festival
    Runner Up, People's Choice Award, Vancouver International Film Festival

    About the Hamilton County Board of MR/DD

    A Personal Note...

    Joe Erpenbeck was sitting in front of Linda Hattendorf's mother at one of The Cats of Mirikitani screenings last November. A conversation ensued and Joe described how he helps disadvantaged and disabled people play a productive and useful role in society. In particular, he mentioned how MR/DD supports programs that allow constituents to develop their artistic gifts and share them with the community.

    "That's what this film is about," said Linda's mom, "You'll love it!"

    She was right, and later Joe connected with Cincinnati World Cinema to explain about the things he does. Read more about Joe Erpenbeck in the Discussion Leader section in the left column of this web page.

    I've known about MR/DD for decades and routinely voted for the levies that sustain their work. But I did not realize the depth of support they provide to dozens of community service organizations as well as individuals, helping to get disabled persons off the homeless rosters and into housing, find meaningful work, and share their talents and gifts with the community at large. Equally impressive, the MRDD takes what they call a "person-centered" approach to providing services - encouraging constituents to practice self determination in choosing and using the services they need.

    In The Cats of Mirikitani Linda Hattendorf reached out to Jimmy Mirikitani and one of the things she did was to connect him with caring people who provide housing and support services. The Hamilton County Board of MR/DD is engaged in similar pursuits. Their official info is below, along with a link to their website. Better yet, talk to Kate Hawkins, Joe Erpenbeck, Sandra Jones or others who make MR/DD contributions a reality. You'll learn first-hand about the important things they do and the passion they bring to their work.

            ~ Tim Swallow, Cincinnati World Cinema


    For over thirty years, the Board has provided educational, vocational, and residential services to thousands of individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. The needs of individuals and their families have dictated agency growth.

    As a result, the Board has been responsive to those needs through added programs, services, and facilities. The growth of the Hamilton County Board of MR/DD represents much more, however, than mere bricks and mortar and programs and staff. Presently, more than 6,000 individuals participate in Board programs and services each year.

    Learn more here: www.hamiltonmrdd.org Hamilton County Board of MR/DD