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Prisoners and Patriots (film)

DVD cover. Courtesy of Neil H. Simon
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

Feature length documentary film on the Santa Fe detention camp. Produced, directed, and written by Neil H. Simon, Prisoners and Patriots is built around interviews of five former Sante Fe inmates, along with inmate family members, others who remember the camp, and those who have studied it. A former broadcast journalist, Simon began the film in 2005 after discovering the camp while working as a reporter in New Mexico. The film premiered in April of 2011 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland and was featured in Day of Remembrance related events in 2012 in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Reviewers Martha Nakagawa and Barbara Takei have both criticized the film for failing to clarify distinctions between Santa Fe and camps administered by the War Relocation Authority and between the early Issei internees at Santa Fe and the later Nisei / Kibei dissidents transferred from Tule Lake . [1]

Authored by Brian Niiya

Might also like The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i (2012); Here, in America?: The Assembly on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (2006); Family Gathering (1988)


  1. Barbara Takei, "Review of Prisoners and Patriots ," Discover Nikkei website, Feb. 28, 2012, accessed on January 7, 2013 at ; Martha Nakagawa, "'Santa Fe' Fails on the Facts," Rafu Shimpo , Apr. 5, 2012, accessed on January 7, 2013 at .
Media Details
Release Date 2011
Runtime 91 minutes
Director Neil H. Simon
Producer Neil H. Simon
Writer Neil H. Simon
Narrator James Hattori
Starring Norman Hirose (interviewee), Bill Nishimura (interviewee), Frank Sumida (interviewee), Noboru Taguma (interviewee), Seichi "Sam" Yamakawa (interviewee), Susumu Yenokida (interviewee), Richard S. Dockum (interviewee), Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani (interviewee), Akira Otani (interviewee), Abner Schrieber (interviewee), Jerry West (interviewee), Daniel Inouye (interviewee), Richard Melzer (interviewee), Gail Okawa (interviewee), Grace Shimizu (interviewee), Duncan Williams (interviewee), Rev. Hiroshi Abiko (interviewee), Ada Jane Akini (interviewee), Ruth Hashimoto (interviewee), Shigeko Hirano (interviewee), Misao Inaba (interviewee), Esther Hokama (interviewee), Takashi "Tash" Kushi (interviewee), Brian Minami (interviewee), Augustus "Gus" Tanaka (interviewee), Masako Tomono (interviewee), Susan Yamakawa (interviewee)
Music Scott Nagatani
For More Information

For More Information

Official website: .

Nakagawa, Martha. " 'Santa Fe' Fails on the Facts ." Rafu Shimpo , Apr. 5, 2012.

Roberts, Kathlaleen. " Prisoners & Patriots ." Albuquerque Journal , Jan. 22, 2012.

Soular, Diana Alba. " Former El Paso TV Reporter's Film Sheds Light on Japanese Internment in New Mexico ." Las Cruces Sun-News , Nov. 17, 2012.

Sammon, John. " Film Chronicles War Internee Experience ." NIkkeiWest , Feb. 6, 2011.

Takei, Barbara. " Review of Prisoners and Patriots ." Discover Nikkei website, Feb. 28, 2012.