The Colorado Experience: Freedom and Poverty (film)
Documentary film that looks at the experience of one Japanese American family from California that "voluntarily" migrates to rural Colorado to avoid the mass forced removal of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast in 1942. Bryan Yokomi, a young descendant of that family, produced and directed the 31 minute film.
The Colorado Experience: Freedom & Poverty is based largely on interviews with three older members of the Yokomi family who were among those who journeyed to Colorado: Bryan's grandmother Ann Mitsuye Yokomi (born in 1920), her sister-in-law Misako Yokomi (born in 1912), and Misako's daughter, Jean Minami (born c. 1935); Bryan also appears on camera to fill in aspects of the story. Family and archival photographs, an illustrated family tree, and contemporary footage of key locations in both Colorado and California provide the visual elements of the film.
Nine members of the family decided to go to Colorado from California's Central Valley, with a family friend providing a connection to others in Colorado. They settled in Roggin, a small town fifty miles northeast of Denver where they shared a small house and did farm work and grew their own crops to make ends meet. The family members recall the journey to Colorado, the difficult life they found there, and the reception of the local community. Like many others who moved inland, the Yokomis eventually moved back to the West Coast, settling back down in California after the war. The film ends with the family members discusses the Redress Movement and reflecting on whether they would make the move to Colorado in hindsight.
|Starring||Bryan Yokomi (interviewee), Richard Tanaka (interviewee), Ann Mitsuye Yokomi (interviewee), Jean Yokomi Minami (interviewee), Misako Yokomi (interviewee)|