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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

235 articles

American Fish (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Short, Drama
  • Available

Short dramatic film about two Nisei women who run into each other at a grocery store and the dance that ensues when neither can remember who the other is. Humorous at first, the tone shifts when one asks about "camp" and other replies that she was in Tule Lake, invoking stereotypes of the camp and its inmates in the other. Directed by Jesse Wine, "American Fish" was based on the short story of the same name by R. A. Sasaki. It was screened as part of the Tule Lake Pilgrimage in 1996.

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An American Story: The History of California's Nisei Veterans (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real and perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Short documentary on California's Nisei veterans produced by photographer Tom Graves. The video was funded by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

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Beyond Barbed Wire (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of men, Disillusionment and dreams
  • Available

A 1997 documentary film on the Japanese American soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who fought for the United States during World War II while some of their families were held in concentration camps. The film is based on interviews with numerous veterans as well as with their wives and adult children. Among topics touched on in Beyond Barbed Wire are friction between men from Hawai'i and the continental U.S. during basic training; the unusual story of Korean American Colonel Young O. Kim; the rescue of the Lost Battalion, and the continuing legacy of the veterans for their families. One unique aspect of the film is its treatment of the controversy over the role of Major General John Dahlquist, whom some veterans feel used the Nisei as "cannon fodder." In telling the story of the mass incarceration, the filmmakers include ...

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California's Gold with Huell Howser: Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past
  • Available

Episode 4012 of the California public television series features a visit to the Manzanar site with a group of former inmates. Host Huell Howser interviews activist Sue Kunitomi Embrey, who provides some background on Manzanar's history and points out the administration and inmate areas. Archie Miyatake talks about the photographs his father Toyo Miyatake took at Manzanar and displays the camera Toyo had made at Manzanar with a lens he had smuggled into the camp. The rest of the episode focuses on names carved into cement by inmate laborers, with three such laborers—Goro Kurihara, Jiro Matsuyama, and Gimp Izumi—brought back to the camp to see their handiwork for the first time in nearly sixty years.

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Colorado Experience: Amache (film)

  • Films and Video

Documentary film on the Amache, Colorado, concentration camp produced by Rocky Mountain PBS and History Colorado in 2013. The film tells the story of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast and their subsequent incarceration at Amache in straightforward fashion, using interviews with former inmates May Murakami and Robert Fuchigami and scholars William J. Convery and Bonnie Clark to tell much of story over historic still photographs and moving images largely taken from War Relocation Authority produced films, in particular Japanese Relocation. There is no narrator. The film also includes contemporary footage of the Amache site as well as reflections on the importance of keeping the story of the mass incarceration alive. Though the military service of Japanese Americans from Amache is mentioned, there is no mention of the loyalty questionnaire or of resistance in the camp.

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Discoveries... America National Parks: Japanese American Incarceration, 1942-1945 (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, power of the past
  • Available

Installment of the popular video series America National Parks produced by Bennett-Watt HD Productions that provides an overview of the Japanese American wartime incarceration and looks at contemporary efforts by the National Park Service and state and local organizations to preserve the former camp sites. In his review in Video Librarian, T. Keogh wrote, "Full of personal testimonies, this eye-opening travelogue is highly recommended."[1]

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A Divided Community (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - Real and Perceived, Patriotism - Positive Side or Complications
  • No availability

Film produced and directed by Momo Yashima that tells the story of the Heart Mountain draft resisters through the stories of resisters Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, Mits Koshiyama and journalist James Omura. While Emi and Kuromiya tell their stories on camera, actor Ralph Brannen voices the words of Kuromiya and Omura. Paul Tsuneishi, a veteran and a member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) who supported the cause of the draft resisters, provides on camera narration and background. Interviews with lawyer Deborah K. Lim, author of The Lim Report, and historian Art Hansen are also included. The title refers both to divisions between Issei and Nisei during the war and between the JACL and those who resisted aspects of the mass incarceration.

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Democracy Under Pressure: Japanese Americans and World War II (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice
  • Available

Documentary film on the wartime experience of Japanese Americans from the San Diego area, including their exclusion and subsequent incarceration at Santa Anita Assembly Center and Poston, as well as their return home. The story is told through the eyes of former inmates Ruth Takahashi Voorhies (born 1923) and Ben Segawa (born 1930), along with historian Don Estes.

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Day of Remembrance (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Dangers of ignorance, Facing darkness, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Documentary film by Cynthia Gates Fujikawa consisting of highlights from 2003 Day of Remembrance (DoR) commemorations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Honolulu, all of which highlight the parallels between what happened to Japanese Americans in 1942 and what was then happening to Arab and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The film also includes brief interviews with some of the event organizers and excerpts from press conferences organized in reaction to remarks defending the roundup and imprisonment of Japanese Americans by North Carolina Congressman Howard Coble two weeks prior to the DoRs. Highlighted speakers include Hakim Oaunsafi, Muslim Association of Hawai'i; Nadine Hamoui, whose family in the Seattle area were imprisoned by the INS in 2002; Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; legal scholar Chris Iijima; Congressman Mike Honda; and civil rights attorney Dale Minami. Day of Remembrance is ...

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Day of Remembrance: The First National Ceremony (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Power of the past
  • Limited availability

Documentary film of the first national Day of Remembrance commemoration, held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1998. The national ceremony was hosted by George Takei and Tamlyn Tomita and included guest speakers Gordon Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu, Norman Mineta, Joan Bernstein, Mitsuye Yamada, Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, and Robert Matsui.

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Encounter with the Past: American Japanese Internment in World War II (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • No availability

A 1980 documentary film on the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at Manzanar, produced and directed by Tak Shindo, a Nisei musician and composer, best known for his albums from the jazz exotica music era and television soundtrack work. The film is built around color footage of the camp taken by Aksel Nielson, the director of recreation at Manzanar. Narrated by Shindo, the film includes his own experiences at Manzanar, military service, and subsequent musical career. Though he had passed away prior to the making of the film, Nielson's voice can be heard describing scenes of sporting events and gardens at Manzanar, and his wife, Melva Nielson, a music teacher at Manzanar, is interviewed at length on camera. Among those appearing in the film are Military Intelligence Service veteran Yukio Tamura, artist Estelle Ishigo, photographer Toyo Miyatake, nursery owner Shinobu Mashiko, Tamotsu Tsuchida, and actor ...

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Farewell to Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Available

Made-for-television movie about a Japanese American family in Manzanar during World War II. Based on the book of the same name by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar aired nationally on NBC stations on March 11, 1976, and remains one of the few mainstream dramatic films centered on the Japanese American concentration camp experience.

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442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity (film)

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

A 2010 documentary film directed by Japanese filmmaker Junichiro Suzuki that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and other Japanese Americans in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. It is the second film in Suzuki's trilogy of films on the Japanese American World War II experience.

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From Bullets to Ballots (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Quest for power, Role of men, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Japanese Americans from Hawai'i as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and their role in the political realignment of Hawai'i after the war. From Bullets to Ballots was one of three short films directed by Robert A. Nakamura and produced by Karen L. Ishizuka in conjunction with From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawai'i, an exhibition produced by the Japanese American National Museum in 1997.

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Harsh Canvas: The Art and Life of Henry Sugimoto (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • No availability

A 2001 biographical documentary film on the life and work of Issei artist Henry Sugimoto, based on the artist's memoirs and testimony before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. The film highlights Sugimoto's art through archival and contemporary footage and follows his life's journey from immigration to his incarceration with his family during World War II in Arkansas, and postwar relocation to New York. Actor Mako narrates the film in the voice of Sugimoto. Interviews with his daughter Madeleine Sugimoto and sister-in-law Naomi Tagawa provide additional information on his life, while fellow artist George Mukai and curators Kristine Kim and Stephanie Barron discuss the significance of his work.

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Heart Mountain: Three Years in an Internment Camp (film)

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

A short documentary film from 1997 that documents the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at the American concentration camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. The film also documents daily life for the Japanese American incarcerees, who endured living in rough barracks, surrounded by barbed wire in sub-zero temperatures and dust storms, as well as the political and personal conflicts that arose with the government-issued "loyalty questionnaire" and draft resistance. In addition to interviews with former inmates and local residents, the film uses previously unseen footage from the camp. The film was produced by KCSM, a San Mateo, California, public television station as part of The New Americans series and was directed by Dianne Fukami, with David Hosley serving as executive producer. It was originally titled Heart Mountain: Three Years in a Relocation Center. Funders for the documentary included the Chevron Corporation, the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, and ...

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Here, in America? (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Short documentary film that presents highlights from the Assembly on Wartime Relocation & Internment of Civilians, held in San Francisco in April 2005. The event included the public testimony of persons of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry about the World War II era internment/incarceration and persons of Arab, Muslim or South Asian descent about post-9/11 detentions. In addition to excepts of the testimonies, the film includes historical background on the World War II detentions along with historical photographs and footage. Testimonies highlighted include Buddy Fujii (statement read by Bill Sato); Victor Kimura; Libia Yamamoto; Art Shibayama; Angelica Higashide (statement read by Naomi Quinones); Doris Berg Nye (statement read by Carole Eiserloh); Ted Eckardt (statement read by Bruce Donald); Constanza Ilacqua Foran; Al Bronzini; John Christgau; Lawrence DiStasi; Yaman Hamdan; and Xavier Becerra.

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If Tomorrow Comes (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Love and sacrifice, Evils of racism
  • Available

Made for television movie that tells the story of a Romeo and Juliet type romance between a Nisei man and a white woman against the backdrop of World War II. Produced by Aaron Spelling Productions, "If Tomorrow Comes" debuted on CBS on December 7, 1971. It was directed by George McCowan from a teleplay by Lew Hunter and starred former child star Patty Duke opposite newcomer Frank Liu. The movie was originally titled "My Husband, the Enemy," with protests by the Asian American community leading to a name change.

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Hito Hata: Raise the Banner (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Immigrant experience
  • Limited availability

Landmark feature film produced by Visual Communications (VC), a Los Angeles based non-profit in 1980. Centering on the life story of an Issei man, Hito Hata was likely the first dramatic feature film about Asian Americans by Asian Americans since the silent film era.

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Honoring Alameda's Japanese American History (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Immigrant experience, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • Limited availability

Conventional documentary on the history of the Japanese American community in Alameda, California, that is more or less equally divided between the prewar years and wartime incarceration/aftermath. Perhaps due to sponsorship by the Buddhist Temple of Alameda and the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, there is a focus on the history and activities of those two institutions throughout. While the first half is specifically on the Japanese American community in Alameda and is thus somewhat unique, the section on the wartime removal and incarceration is more general and thus repeats information that can be found elsewhere.

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Japanese War Bride (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Evils of racism, Love and sacrifice, Family - blessing or curse
  • Available

1952 movie directed by King Vidor about a white Korean War veteran who returns to his California home with a Japanese war bride. The couple faces subtle and overt opposition from his family and friends that comes to a head when the couple has their first baby. A Nisei neighbor discusses his family's wartime incarceration, one of the first mentions of this topic in any Hollywood film.

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Journey of Honor (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived
  • No availability

Documentary film produced and directed by Stuart Yamane centering on a trip by a group of Hawai'i Nisei veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team to Italy some fifty-five years after they fought there during World War II. In documenting the trip, Yamane reconnects with his late and estranged father Masakichi, a World War II veteran, who had served with some of the men on the trip. Led by columnist and military history buff Bob Jones, the trip includes stops at Pietrasanta, where they the men are honored in a Liberation Day ceremony and take part in the unveiling of a statue honoring Sadao Munemori; Mt. Fologorito, where they have a reunion with the Alpini, the Italian Mountain Corps who guided Allied troops; the American Cemetary and Memorial in Nettuno; and, finally, Monte Cassino, a mountain that was the site of one of their most difficult ...

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Korematsu and Civil Liberties (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Documentary video focusing on the collision of security concerns and civil liberties as illustrated by theWorld War II roundup of Japanese Americans and the Korematsu Supreme Court case.

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Little Tokyo U.S.A. (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Thrillers
  • Evils of racism, Fear of other
  • Limited availability

Notorious 1942 Hollywood movie that depicts Japanese American leaders in Los Angeles as being part of a Japanese spy ring and that actively advocates the expulsion and incarceration of Japanese Americans using actual documentary footage.

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Looking Like the Enemy (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Evils of racism, Role of men, Heroism – real and perceived
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the unique experiences of Japanese American soldiers in Asian wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The 52-minute film was made by Karen L. Ishizuka and Robert A. Nakamura in conjunction with the exhibition Fighting for Tomorrow: Japanese Americans in America's Wars at the Japanese American National Museum and screened in the exhibition gallery.

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