Spring, 1942: F.D.R. signs executive order 9066, and more than 110,000 Japanese Americans, most of them U.S. citizens, are sent to internment camps. Three young men - Min Yasui, an attorney... See full summary »
Spring, 1942: F.D.R. signs executive order 9066, and more than 110,000 Japanese Americans, most of them U.S. citizens, are sent to internment camps. Three young men - Min Yasui, an attorney from Oregon, Gordon Hirabayashi, a Quaker college student in Washington, and Fred Korematsu, a Bay Area welder - serve jail sentences for violating laws against Japanese Americans; the U.S. Supreme Court upholds their convictions. Forty years later, the three file suits to have their sentences overturned. This documentary tells their stories and helps break 40 years of silence and shame. By the end of the documentary, the court proceedings remain unfinished. Written by
How has this been overlooked after all these years?
Just by chance did I get a hold of this documentary from my video store, and I was quick to pick it up once I noticed the subject matter.
It follows the telling of the Japanese-American internment camps during WWII, and the rise to action, by the 'sansei' (3rd generation Japanese-Americans) 40 years later, to bring legal restitution for the victims.
Namely, there were 3 pivotal figures that represented the totality of victims, headed by Fred Korematsu. Himself, along with others, acted in defiance to the imposed curfews and detainments, and eventually was arrested and sentenced without question.
40 years later, with ample video, photo and written documentation, a legal team of 3rd generation Japanese-Americans lead a new tribunal hearing to correct these historical wrongs.
Notwithstanding the fact that the film is dry and mild as it moves along, it is undeniably stunning in its revelations and profoundness. To not only pose culpability on part of the American government, similar occurrences took place in Canada as well. Being a Canadian citizen myself, I cannot stress enough the importance of such historical injustices, and am equally as frustrated with the lack of awareness to them.
This film should be a North American curricular standard in high school classes, and should not be neglected. Considering this was nominated for an Academy Award, one would think it would sustain such attention over the years. I hope it does.
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