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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

235 articles

Citizen Tanouye (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

A 2005 documentary film that tells the story of eight high school students from Torrance High School in California, and their discovery of a school alumnus named Ted Tanouye and his experiences during World War II. A Japanese American soldier of the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team who was killed in action and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Technical Sergeant Tanouye and his family were nonetheless incarcerated at the Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas, concentration camps from 1942–45, without due process. By researching Tanouye's personal history through school yearbooks, newspapers, internet sites and by conducting interviews with Japanese American veterans, the relevance of history and importance of civil liberties becomes tangible for the students, who come to see the parallels between the Japanese American experience during World War II and their own lives and the impact war had on their city.

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Crossroads: Boyle Heights (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Immigrant experience, Working class struggles, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Widely available

A documentary film compiled from life histories of past and present residents of Boyle Heights, a working-class neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles. From the 1920s-1950s, Boyle Heights was a racially and ethnically diverse home to immigrants from Mexico, Japan, England, Germany, Russia and Armenia as well as people from the east, the south and the southwest portions of the United States who lived, worked and worshiped in the area. The film also explores how the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and their postwar return affected businesses and friendships. While many Japanese Americans faced hostility in other parts of Los Angeles, residents of Boyle Heights share stories of a deeper empathy with the plight of those incarcerated. Crossroads: Boyle Heights was originally produced to accompany the exhibition Boyle Heights: The Power of Place (2002) at the Japanese American National Museum.

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Crossroads in Nihonmachi (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement, Importance of community, Rebirth
  • Limited availability

A 2006 documentary film by Adrianne Anderson and Tony Sondag about the redevelopment struggle in San Francisco's Japantown. As in other cities on the West Coast, plans for urban renewal disproportionately affected ethnic minorities including Japanese Americans, destroying or diminishing historical Japantowns after World War II. The film traces the history of San Francisco's Nihonmachi, focusing on the eviction of Japanese American residents of San Francisco's Nihonmachi starting in the 1960s—drawing parallels with the 1942 eviction of Japanese Americans under Executive Order 9066—and 1970s efforts by community members to halt evictions and preserve and reclaim the community and its history. The film covers the 100th anniversary celebration of the community in 2006, while also noting the continuing threats it faces.

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The Color of Honor: The Japanese American Soldier in WWII (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Available

A 1987 documentary film by Loni Ding that largely focuses on Japanese Americans who served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II. A sequel to Ding's 1983 film Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People, the two films were among the first and most influential films on the Nisei soldiers and both were critically acclaimed and widely viewed.

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Emi (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Injustice, Importance of community
  • Limited availability

Documentary film about a Nisei woman returning to Manzanar and to her prewar community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, for the first time some thirty-five years after being forcibly removed.

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"Forty Years from Sand Island" (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Action, Crime
  • Greed as downfall, Power and corruption, Power of the past
  • Available

Episode of the Magnum P.I. television series that centers on a murder in the Sand Island Internment Camp in 1942. The episode from the popular series' third season first aired in 1983.

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The 442nd: Duty, Honor and Loyalty (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. The 442nd: Duty, Honor & Loyalty is a English language version of a 1996 Japanese language documentary produced by Bungei Shunju, Ltd. titled Amerika Dai-442 Hohei Rentai: Nikkei Niseitachi no Dainijin Seikai Taisen. The English language script was by John Dobovan, who also narrated.

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Forgotten Valor (film)

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

Dramatic film about a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who was among those awarded the Medal of Honor in 2000, but who refuses to attend the ceremony and subsequently disappears.

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Fifty Years of Silence: The Untold Story of Japanese American Soldiers in the Pacific Theater, 1941-1952 (film)

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

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II and during the occupation of Japan through archival footage and interviews. Produced by the Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California and the National Japanese American Historical Society, the 60-minute documentary was directed by Sheryl K. Narahara and released in 1992. In addition to providing an overview of the MIS story from training to the battlefield and occupation of Japan, Fifty Years of Silence also includes a section on Richard Sakakida, a Nisei who did intelligence work in the Philippines as part of the Counter Intelligence Corps.

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Hell to Eternity (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • War, Drama
  • Evils of racism, Heroism - real or perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

Hell to Eternity, directed by Phil Karlson and released in 1960, is a Hollywood war film that dramatizes the real-life story of Guy Gabaldon (played by Jeffrey Hunter), an American Marine who singlehandedly captured over 1,500 Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Island of Saipan during the fighting there in mid-1944. In addition to its portrait of Gabaldon's wartime heroism, Hell to Eternity is notable as the first Hollywood film to portray the wartime confinement of Japanese Americans.

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Heart Mountain: An All American Town (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the Heart Mountain, Wyoming, concentration camp written, produced and directed by Raechel Donahue that focuses on the experiences of the children in the camp.

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Honor Bound: A Personal Journey (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, Power of the past
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team through the story of one soldier, Haruo Howard "Howe" Hanamura, and his daughter, television reporter Wendy Hanamura, who travel to Europe in October 1944 for 50th anniversary ceremonies of the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine by the 442nd. The film was produced by the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) and KPIX, San Francisco, where Wendy Hanamura was a news reporter. After debuting on KPIX on March 5, 1995, it went on to be shown on over 100 PBS stations.

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Hyakunen no monogatari (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Love and sacrifice, Role of women
  • Available

Japanese television drama—whose English title is 100 Years—that follows the fortunes of four generations of women over the course of the twentieth century. The three-part drama first aired in Japan on TBS on August 28 to 30, 2000, and was subsequently shown on Japanese language TV stations in the United States. The first segment begins in 1920 and ends in the late 1930s, the second begins in 1949 and covers the early postwar years, and the third takes place in 2000. Each segment stars Nanako Matsushima, who plays Aya Togura, born in 1901 in the first segment, her daughter in the second, and her great-granddaughter in the third. The second segment includes two major Japanese American characters, both of whom were incarcerated in American concentration camps.

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The Idaho Homefront: Of Camps and Combat (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Documentary video written and produced by Jim Peck for Idaho Public Television that tells the story of the Minidoka camp in Idaho and of Japanese Americans who served in World War II from Idaho, both those in Minidoka and those born and raised in Idaho. The show was a follow up to an earlier documentary by Peck titled The Idaho Homefront: World War II that had included a mention of Minidoka and of the 442nd. Narrated by Sue Galligan, and featuring interviews with Hero Shiosaki, Roy Gikui, Robert Sims, Bethine Church, Fumiko Hayashida, and Toshi Ito. Funding for the show came in part from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WETA Public Broadcasting, and from Wal-Mart. The half-hour show premiered on Idaho public television stations on September 20, 2007.

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In Time of War (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Circle of life, Displacement, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the Japanese American experience in the Pacific Northwest including "voluntary evacuation," forced removal and confinement, and the debate over military service. Produced by North By Northwest Entertainment for Whitworth College, the project was funded by a grant from the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

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Invisible Citizens: Japanese Americans (film)

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

Early documentary film that highlights the experiences of Japanese Americans during and after World War II through profiles of six Japanese Americans from around the country.

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Journey to Washington: On the Trail of Senator Daniel Inouye Japanese American Pioneer (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Empowerment
  • Available

Japanese-made video on the life of Daniel Inouye, American war hero and United States Senator from Hawai'i. Journey to Washington aired in selected television markets in both the U.S. and Japan.

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Legacy of the Nisei: Stories of Japanese American Internment and World War II Veterans (film)

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

The second video produced by the San Leandro Public Library built around interviews with Japanese American veterans and former concentration camp inmates from the San Francisco Bay area.

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The Magic of Ordinary Days (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, Romance
  • Beauty of simplicity, Love and sacrifice, Role of women
  • Available

Made-for-television movie under the Hallmark Hall of Fame banner about the arranged marriage of an educated urban woman carrying an illegitimate child and a kindly farmer. The film includes a subplot about a friendship between the woman and two Japanese American sisters from Amache who are among the farmworkers.

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MIS: Human Secret Weapon (film)

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

Feature length documentary film on the history of Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II. Written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Junichiro Suzuki, MIS: Human Secret Weapon is the third film in Suzuki's trilogy of documentaries on Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Midway (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, War
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

Epic war movie that tells the story of the Battle of Midway, the turning point of the Pacific War, from both the American and Japanese perspectives. Made for a modest budget despite its all-star cast, Midway was successful at the box office. In addition to employing many Japanese American actors in the roles of Japanese naval officers, the movie has a subplot involving the internment/incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Mitsuye and Nellie: Asian American Poets (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Female roles, Power of words, Role of women
  • Available

One of the earliest documentaries to broach the topic of Japanese American wartime incarceration, Mitsuye and Nellie profiles Asian American poets Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong, showing them reading their poetry, meeting their family and visiting the Minidoka and Angel Island sites.

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The Merced Assembly Center: Injustice Immortalized (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Injustice, Importance of community
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Japanese Americans from Central California who were incarcerated at the Merced Assembly Center and the effort nearly sixty years later to build a memorial at the site. Produced by the Merced Assembly Center Commemorative Committee, the film was funded in large part by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

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Most Honorable Son (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived
  • Available

Documentary film that profiles Nisei war hero Ben Kuroki, tracing his life from his Nebraska childhood, his fight to be allowed to serve in the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, his bombing missions over Europe and Japan, and his visits to American concentration camps in which Japanese Americans were held. Kuroki tells much of the story in his own words, which are augmented by many interviews with crew members who flew with him in both Europe and Japan. In addition to archival footage and photographs, the filmmakers also film reenactments of a few key episodes. Among the incidents highlighted are the dramatic raid on the Ploesti oilfields in what is now Romania, one of Kuroki's last missions in Europe; his speech before the Commonweath Club in San Francisco upon his return; and his visit to the Heart Mountain concentration camp of which inmates Eiichi Sakauye, Jack Tono, and ...

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Okage Sama De (I Am What I Am Because of You) (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Vulnerability of the strong, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Filmed version of storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung performing a one-person show mostly centering on the stories of Japanese American soldiers during World War II.

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