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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

235 articles

442: For the Future (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Role of men, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Limited availability

Docu-drama by Patricia Kinaga that tells the story of the Japanese American World War II experience with a focus on the exploits of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, through the experiences of four characters.

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Arnold Knows Me: The Tommy Kono Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Role of men
  • Widely available

Documentary film that charts Nisei Tommy Kono's unlikely rise from a World War II concentration camp to becoming one of America's greatest Olympic style weightlifters.

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The Bitter Memory: America's Concentration Camps (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • Widely available

Early film that provides an overview of the wartime forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast produced by the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. Bitter Memory tells the story through narration and interviews with former inmates accompanied by archival footage from Office of War Information/War Relocation Authority (WRA) films and WRA still photos. All footage—even contemporary interview footage and footage shot at Tule Lake—is in black and white. Identified inmate narrators include poet and playwright Hiroshi Kashiwagi, Mary Otani, Michi Mukai, and Kumito Ishida. The bulk of the film deals with living conditions in the concentration camps—the lack of privacy, the breaking up of the family unit, employment, food and so forth—along with the loyalty questionnaire and segregation. The film is also known as Bitter Memories: Tule Lake, even though only the last few minutes of the film focus on Tule Lake.

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Children of the Camps (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Power of words, Self-awareness, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Documentary film that explores the long term impact of the wartime incarceration on those who were children at the time. Much of the film documents a three-day workshop that brings together former child inmates for co-counseling sessions in which they discuss often repressed memories of the incarceration and its aftermath.

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Dear Miss Breed (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, importance of community
  • Limited availability

A 2000 short documentary film by Veronica Ko about San Diego children's librarian Clara Breed, whose wartime correspondence with Japanese American youth she had befriended before the war became an unlikely source of hope and courage when the children were sent to American concentration camps. The film, which is hosted by actor Marcus Toji, includes excerpts from some of the 250 letters Miss Breed received from the Japanese American children. The film was created and produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum of the same title. The film was recognized with numerous awards including the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media, Council on Foundations, 2002; the 34th Annual Worldfest Houston, Grand Prize nomination, Special Gold Jury Award, Historical, 2001; and the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention, 2000.

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Conversations: Before the War/After the War (film)

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

A 1986 dramatic film by Robert Nakamura that is based on the play "Truth of the Matter" by Karen L. Ishizuka. In Conversations, three characters discuss their life experiences, feelings and the facts of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, exploring the changes in their lives and long term effects of their wartime experiences. Though taking the form of oral history interviews, the three characters were nonprofessional actors playing composite characters based on their own experiences and that of others. The cast included Kimiko Nakamura—the mother of director Nakamura—along with Warren Furutani, playing a role based on his father, and Grace Ino, playing the part of a younger Nisei. in a 2009 interview, Nakamra said that the film "was experimental in that we used the experiences of the non-actors themselves reading transcripts of interviews, and a little bit of coaching."[1]

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Dave Tatsuno: Movies and Memories (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Dave Tatsuno (1913–2006), a Nisei best known for the home movie footage he shot while incarcerated at the Topaz, Utah, concentration camp. Produced by KTEH, a San Jose-based public television station (now KQED), the hour-long documentary is based largely on interviews with Tatsuno and members of his family, along with family photos and clips from his home movies from before, during, and after the war. The film includes a lengthy excerpt from Tatsuno's Topaz Memories. The 2006 production was funded by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, directed by Scott Gracheff, and produced by Christina Lim.

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Eagle Against the Sun (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Loss of innocence, Coming of age, Evils of racism
  • Limited availability

A dramatic short film by John Akahoshi centering on a 17-year-old Japanese American high school girl and the impact the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has on her life.

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Designing the Path: Japanese American Architect, Gyo Obata (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Circle of life, Expression through art, Wisdom of experience
  • Available

Japanese-produced documentary film profiling Nisei architect Gyo Obata.

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Eyewitness: Stan Honda: Reflections of a Photojournalist (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, Biography
  • Expression through art, Facing darkness
  • Widely available

Short documentary film about photojournalist Stan Honda, who gained fame for the photographs he took of the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

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Fighting for Justice: The Coram Nobis Cases (film)

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

Documentary film that provides a short overview of the coram nobis cases, based on interviews with attorneys Dale Minami, Peggy Nagae, and Rod Kawakami and television footage of other key figures.

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The Fence at Minidoka (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Displacement
  • Limited availability

Early documentary film on the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the Seattle, Washington, area that may have been the first such film to be produced by a local television station. Barbara J. Tanabe, a young reporter for KOMO in Seattle instigated, wrote, and reported on the program, which first aired on December 7, 1971.

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Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol (film)

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

A 2009 short documentary film about Fumiko Hayashida, a pregnant mother of two who was one of 227 members of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American community who were forced from their homes in March 1942. Hayashida—or at least her image—became immortalized in a photograph taken of her holding her young daughter. First appearing the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the photograph became one of the iconic images of the roundup. Providing both a biographical portrait of Hayashida and telling the larger story of Bainbridge Island, the film also shows the then 97-year-old Hayashida revisiting the site of the former Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho.

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Ganbare Don't Give Up! (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Immigrant experience, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Documentary film that provides an overview of what happened to Japanese Americans in Hawai'i during World War II, focusing on the limited internment of Issei community leaders and the exploits of Japanese American men in the armed forces. Ganbare Don't Give Up! was produced as a part of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i's core exhibition, Okage Sama De: I am what I am because of you, which remains the only place where it can be viewed.

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G-Men vs. The Black Dragon/Black Dragon of Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Thriller, Crime
  • Fear of other, Good vs. bad, Nationalism - complications
  • Available

A war-era movie serial produced by Republic Pictures in 1943 that pits Los Angeles-based American Special Investigator Rex Bennett against the Black Dragon Society (BDS), a Japanese led organization that is attempting to aid the Axis-war effort. There is a brief intersection of the BDS with the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Great Grandfather's Drum (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Importance of community, Power of the past, Power of tradition
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in Maui through the story of Maui Taiko and its founder, Kay Fukumoto.

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Good Luck Soup (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Importance of community, Individual versus society, Power of tradition
  • Widely available

Autobiographical documentary film by Matthew Hashiguchi that explores his and his family's experience growing up as mixed-race Japanese Americans in Cleveland, Ohio. Hashiguchi draws inspiration from his Nisei grandmother and family matriarch Eva Hashiguchi, who settled in Cleveland after leaving the Jerome, Arkansas, concentration camp during World War II and chose to remain there. In addition to the feature length film, the Good Luck Soup project also includes an interactive website that serves as an "participatory storytelling" platform.

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Going for Broke (film)

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

Documentary film that provides an overview of Japanese Americans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II using archival footage, interviews, and contemporary footage of key wartime locations. The film also includes information on the history of Japanese Americans before the war and the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and is narrated by George Takei and "hosted" by Daniel Inouye. Going for Broke was produced in 2005 by the Go For Broke Educational Foundation, with funding from Farmers' Insurance. The film's tagline is "They Believed in America, When America No Longer Believed in Them."

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Half Kenneth (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, Short
  • Coming of age, Loss of innocence, Family - blessing or curse
  • Limited availability

Short dramatic film about two mixed race brothers at Manzanar in 1945. A 21-minute short, Half Kenneth was made by Ken Ochiai as a master's thesis film at the American Film Institute.

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Justice Now! Reparations Now! (film)

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

Documentary film on the Redress Movement focusing on the contributions of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations (NCRR), which produced it. The film provides a brief overview of the wartime incarceration, with a focus on resistance by Japanese Americans in and out of confinement. It then traces the roots of NCRR to 1960s social movements and the rise of redress as an issue in Japanese American communities in the 1970s, outlining NCRR's "grass roots" orientation. Footage from the Los Angeles hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians—which NCRR helped to organize—and well as excerpts of speeches by Norman Mineta and Robert Matsui in support of redress legislation are also included. The film culminates with footage of NCRR's July 1987 trip to Washington, DC, to lobby for redress legislation and with the passage and signing what would become the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Alan Kondo produced and ...

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Justice Betrayed (film)

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

Documentary film on the internment of Japanese Americans from Hawai'i produced in 1992 by the Honolulu Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Justice Betrayed includes interviews with two Japanese Americans whose fathers were interned (Sandra Takahata, the daughter of artist George Hoshida, and Akira Otani, son of businessman Matsujiro Otani); Tokushige and Mitsue Nakahara, boat builder brothers who were themselves interned; and Violet Ishii Hayashi, a woman from originally from Hawai'i who was on the West Coast at time of the mass expulsion and incarceration and ended up at Poston; and legal scholar Eric Yamamoto and historian Franklin Odo. In addition to outlining the Hawai'i story, the film also covers Executive Order 9066 and the West Coast story as well as the issues with John DeWitt's Final Report that led to the corm nobis cases in the 1980s.

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The Lost Village of Terminal Island (film)

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

A 2007 documentary film directed by David Meltzer about Terminal Island, once home for a large and prosperous Japanese American fishing community located near the Port of Los Angeles, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, nearly 3,000 Japanese immigrants and their families who lived at Terminal Island were forced from their homes and into government concentration camps. Most of the original inhabitants of this tight-knit Japanese American village would never return. This film tells the story of childhood memories of growing up on a once idyllic Terminal Island as well as the painful experiences of suspicion, interrogation and incarceration (most Terminal Islanders were sent to the camp at Manzanar) that the community suffered following the passage of Executive Order 9066. The film also traces the former residents' continuing identification with Terminal Island, noting the reunions that began in 1971 and climaxing with the dedication of ...

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Memories of the Camps (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Circle of life, Power of the past, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Locally produced documentary by Los Angeles TV station KABC that provides an overview of the concentration camps and community efforts to remember them on their fiftieth anniversary. Hosted by KABC news anchor Joanne Ishimine, the program begins at Heart Mountain where former inmate and camp historian Bacon Sakatani gives a tour of the camp and talks about his experience and the larger impact of incarceration. The next segment is on Manzanar, focusing on Toyo Miyatake and his photographs, featuring an interview with his son Archie. The last segments focus on the commemoration of the camps: a visit to a UCLA class that Sakatani speaks to and interviews with the students; some of those same students at the 50th anniversary Manzanar Pilgrimage; and visits to the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Japanese American National Museum in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. A copy of the program can ...

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Meeting at Tule Lake (film)

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

Documentary film produced and directed by Scott T. Tsuchitani that features interviews with seven former Tule Lake inmates talking about life in the camp, the "loyalty questionnaire" and segregation, and the importance of remembering, intercut with footage of poet Hiroshi Kashiwagi reading the title poem and of a Tule Lake Pilgrimage. Meeting at Tule Lake was produced by the Tule Lake Committee for the 1994 Tule Lake Pilgrimage.

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Moving Day (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History
  • Evils of racism, Power of the past, Injustice
  • No availability

UCLA student film that dramatizes the wartime eviction of a Japanese American farming family. Silent scenes of a family of five (presumably two Issei parents and their three Nisei children) eating, packing their possessions, making musubi for the voyage, and other preparations for removal are accompanied by first-person narration by a female voice, presumably the daughter of the family. The film begins with the words of John DeWitt read in his voice justifying the need for the forced removal of Japanese Americans. The film ends with a coda about the passage of time and how many have forgotten—or have never known about—the events depicted. Moving Day is one of the first—if not the first—film by a Japanese American that depicts the travails of World War II.

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