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Beyond Barbed Wire (film)

DVD cover. Courtesy of the Center for Asian American Media
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

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 scenes from the Japanese American National Museum and the Smithsonian Institution's A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution . The film concludes with scenes from a reunion at the 50th anniversary of the war's end in Honolulu in 1995. The film is narrated by Noriyuki "Pat" Morita .

Filmmakers Steve Rosen (director and cinematographer) and Terri DeBono (producer and writer) formed Mac + Ava Pictures in 1987 and have made several other documentaries that touch on issues of race and history including Accidental Hero: Room 408 (2002), on Tommie Lindsey, an inspirational speech and debate coach in a largely minority Northern California high school; The Roots of California Photography (2003); and My Name is Belle (2007), on Taiwanese immigrant artist Belle Yang.

Might also like The Color of Honor: The Japanese American Soldier in WWII (1987); Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People (1983); 442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity (2010)

This page is complete and will be published to the production Encyclopedia.

Media Details
Release Date 1997
Runtime 87 minutes
Director Steve Rosen
Producer Terri DeBono
Writer Terri DeBono
Narrator Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
Starring Kim Fujii (interviewee), Yukio Sumida (interviewee), Tom Kawagushi (interviewee), Bill Omoto (interviewee), Ted Tsukiyama (interviewee), Wallace Amioka (interviewee), Ken Kaneko (interviewee), Jesse Hirata (interviewee), Mollie Sumida (interviewee), Erin Sumida (interviewee), Kei Hirabayashi Takata (interviewee), John Tsukano (interviewee), Shigeya Kihara (interviewee), Ben Tagami (interviewee), Young O. Kim (interviewee), James Lovell (interviewee), Sakae Takahashi (interviewee), Hiro Takusagawa (interviewee), Henry Yoshitake (interviewee), Richard Kawamoto (interviewee), Lawson Sakai (interviewee), Jim Makino (interviewee), George Nishinaka (interviewee), Stanley Akita (interviewee), Jack Wakamatsu (interviewee), Toy Kanegai (interviewee), Harold Langley (interviewee), Sumi Seki (interviewee), Don Seki (interviewee), Lyn Crost (interviewee), Grant Hirabayashi (interviewee), George Kanegai (interviewee), Henry Kuwabara (interviewee), Daniel Akaka (interviewee), Kan Tagami (interviewee), Ken Akune (interviewee), Warren Tsuneishi (interviewee), Roy Matsumoto (interviewee), Susumo Toyoda (interviewee), Jim Mita (interviewee), Sadae Tagami (interviewee), Mits Usui (interviewee) (interviewee), Mineko Sakai (interviewee), Ann Tsuchiya (interviewee), Gene Castagnetti (interviewee), George Aki (interviewee), Ray Sumida (interviewee), Lynnette Matsuyama (interviewee), Tracey Matsuyama (interviewee), Gary Takusagawa (interviewee)
Cinematography Steve Rosen
Editing Steve Rosen
Distributor Center for Asian American Media
For More Information

For More Information

Beyond Barbed Wire on Center for Asian American Media website.

Beyond Barbed Wire trailer .

Craughwell, Kathleen. "'Barbed Wire' Remembers Japanese American Soldiers." Los Angeles Times , July 18, 1997. .

Nakayama, Patsy Y. "'Beyond Barbed Wire': The Touching Story of the AJA Soldiers During World War II." Hawaii Herald , June 19, 1998, A-12.