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Enemy Alien (film)

DVD cover. Courtesy of Konrad Aderer
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

Documentary film by Konrad Aderer on the post-9/11 arrest of Farouk Abel-Muhti, a New York based human right activist, and his two year odyssey of imprisonment, protest, and mistreatment. The case inspires Aderer, a Yonsei , to explore his family's World War II incarceration for the first time, journeying to Cleveland to interview his grandmother, Toyo Takayama, who had gotten married in Tanforan and bore his mother in Topaz . The making of the film as well as Aderer's personal transformation in becoming active in Abel-Muhti's case become part of the story told in the film.

Aderer, who grew up in New York and Los Angeles, first learned of the incarceration when he played a role in a high school production of Wakako Yamauchi 's play 12-1-A . He was inspired to make the film, he told Norm Masaji Ibuki, because "9-11 was undoubtedly a galvanizing moment for the JA community as it was for me, because the government's response of targeting Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities completely negated the apology, reparations, and promise that were supposed to insure this kind of injustice would never be repeated." [1] The film premiered in 2011 and has been screened in film festivals and numerous community events. Issued on DVD, it can also be viewed through its website.

Authored by Brian Niiya

Might also like Good Luck Soup (2016); Day of Remembrance (2003); Caught in Between: What to Call Home in Times of War (2004)

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


  1. Norm Masaji Ibuki, " Enemy Alien : An American Sansei's Story," DiscoverNikkei website, April 1, 2013, accessed on December 16, 2013, at .
Media Details
Release Date 2011
Runtime 82 min.
Director Konrad Aderer
Producer Konrad Aderer
Editing Konrad Aderer
For More Information

For More Information

Official site: .

" From Japanese Internment to Post-911 Detention ." Asia Pacific Forum radio program, WBAI New York, June 27, 2011.

Ibuki, Norm Masaji. " Enemy Alien : An American Sansei's Story. " DiscoverNikkei website, April 1, 2013.

Panovka, Rebecca. " 'Exigent Times': Konrad Aderer's Enemy Alien . New York Observer , July 6, 2011.

Strole, Jeanne. " 'Exigent Times Call for Very Strenuous Reactions': Enemy Alien by Konrad Aderer. " The War Resisters League Blog, January 30, 2012.