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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

235 articles

Prisoners and Patriots (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • Available

Feature length documentary film on the Santa Fe detention camp. Produced, directed, and written by Neil H. Simon, Prisoners and Patriots is built around interviews of five former Sante Fe inmates, along with inmate family members, others who remember the camp, and those who have studied it. A former broadcast journalist, Simon began the film in 2005 after discovering the camp while working as a reporter in New Mexico. The film premiered in April of 2011 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland and was featured in Day of Remembrance related events in 2012 in Sacramento and San Francisco.

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Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Documentary film on a Nisei war hero from Hawai'i who served with the Military Intelligence Service during World War II.

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Redress: The JACL Campaign for Justice (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Documentary film produced by Visual Communications for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in 1991 documenting the JACL's role in the Redress Movement, which had recently culminated in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Written and directed by John Esaki, the film was shown at Days of Remembrances and other events. William Hohri, a frequent critic of the JACL, wrote a letter to Japanese American vernacular papers that compared the video to "how history was manipulated in the old Soviet Union" noting the omission of the corm nobis cases and non-JACL contributors to the movement. In response, Cherry Kinoshita, the JACL's national redress chair, noted the video's goal "to document JACL's role in the redress effort," and not to tell a comprehensive story of redress.[1]

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Stand Up For Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Injustice, Coming of age
  • Available

Short film that dramatizes the story of Ralph Lazo, a Los Angeles high school student of Mexican and Irish descent, who voluntarily chose to go to Manzanar to support his Nisei friends and protest the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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The Silent Glory (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived
  • Limited availability

Documentary film on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Relying on archival and newsreel footage along with interviews, The Silent Glory begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the subsequent mass forced removal of West Coast Japanese Americans, continuing with the struggle to restore eligibility to military service for Japanese Americans and the military history of the 442nd, and climaxing with the rescue of the Lost Battalion and the movement to award Congressional Medals of Honor many years later. Among those interviewed are George Katagiri, Kennie Namba, George Oiye, and Al Ouchi, along with Martin Higgins, one of the commanders of the "Lost Battalion." Producer and director Zed Merrill specializes in making films about relatively little known aspects of World War II.

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Through the Lens of Russell Lee: Mathias Uchiyama's Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Working class struggles, Displacement
  • Widely available

Short documentary film about a Japanese American family that left the Portland Assembly Center to engage in farm labor in eastern Oregon, produced to accompany the traveling exhibition Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps during World War II.

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Tokyo Rose: Victim of Propaganda (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Facing darkness, Individual versus society
  • Available

Television documentary for A&E network's "Biography" series that sympathetically tells the story of Iva Toguri d'Aquino and the myth of "Tokyo Rose."

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Voices Long Silent (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Immigrant experience, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

Documentary video that explores Issei perspectives of the wartime forced removal and incarceration, as related through voiceovers by actors from Los Angeles-based theater company, East West Players, accompanied by still photos of the incarceration. Filmmaker Bob Matsumoto was inspired by the testimony of Japanese Americans before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, and sought to recapture the voices of those who were no longer able to tell their stories. Matsumoto updated the film twice, once after the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and once after the retroactive awarding of Congressional Medal of Honor awards to Japanese Americans who had been overlooked for the award in the 1940s. Voices Long Silent was used to accompany the exhibition The Art of Gaman and included in the DVD release of The Story Behind the Objects, a video specially produced by an about the show.

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A Crossroad Called Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Short, History
  • Growing up - pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence
  • No availability

Short dramatic film about two nine-year-old girls who are best friends—Aya Matsui and Penny Chan—in the final days before Aya's family will be forced to board busses for Manzanar. On what will be her final day of school, Penny—wearing the "Proud to Be Chinese" button than her mother pins on her every morning—comes to pick up Aya as usual. But after being harassed by white children on their way to school, they decide to spend the day playing in the fields and parks before heading home. Aya's family eats on the floor, the rest of their things packed or sold off. The next morning, the Matsuis report for their exile and are put on busses for Manzanar. Penny comes by their house, finding it empty and, shunned by the other kids, rides alone on the school bus to school.

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Ohakamairi: A Visit to the Graves (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Isolation, Power of tradition, Reunion
  • No availability

Short documentary student film by Janice D. Tanaka that focuses on the annual pilgrimages to Manzanar made by Buddhist Rev. Sentoku Maeda. Shot in 16mm black and white while a student at the University of Southern California (USC), Tanaka's film lets Maeda tell his story in his own voice, accompanied by historical photos and footage of Maeda at the Manzanar site. Incarcerated at Manzanar as a young man, he recalls the Buddhist services held there despite administrative opposition. He talks about the "I-re-to" memorial and his promise to visit the graves at Manzanar once the war is over. For the next twenty plus years, he came back to perform memorial services, sometimes alone. The film ends with his recognition of the "young people" who have turned his lonely pilgrimage into a community event starting in 1969.

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