Hidden Histories is a touring program of short narrative films about Japanese American confinement during WWII. Each film tells a personal story dramatizing a different period of this history, starting from Executive Order 9066 (which authorized the confinement sites) to the present-day legacy for younger generations. Hidden Histories commemorates an important chapter in our nation's history, and pays tribute to the 120,000 Americans who suffered the indignity and untold losses of this unjustified incarceration.

These stories also serve as a cautionary tale. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988, signed into law by President Reagan, declared that Japanese American incarceration was "motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." Despite this forceful statement, our nation is at risk of repeating these grave mistakes. Hidden Histories provides a much-needed reminder of the profound cost of abandoning our ideals of an inclusive society and equal protection under the law.

2017 SCREENING CALENDAR

This program is available for screenings throughout 2017, and can be accompanied by a discussion led by the filmmakers, scholars, and/or community activists. Please review our program prospectus for additional details.

 
 

THE ORANGE STORY

Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center, en route to a more permanent confinement site. His belongings, his business – everything must be sold except for what he can carry in one large duffel bag.


A SONG FOR MANZANAR

A young mother and her family are placed in Manzanar confinement site during WWII. The film draws upon a true story, depicting the closeness of two sisters shown in glimpses of childhood experiences, a conversation as young women, and the dogged efforts of the older sister to get a letter out to her sister in Hiroshima.

ONE OF MANY

Seppuku is a cinematic folk tale that chronicles the ritual death and rebirth of Mari Yoshimori. It looks through the lens of a psyche molded through generations by the legacy of internment. It’s a soul-searching journey to recalibrate a spiritual compass and find new purpose in life.

SEPPUKU

Seppuku is a cinematic folk tale that chronicles the ritual death and rebirth of Mari Yoshimori. It looks through the lens of a psyche molded through generations by the legacy of internment. It’s a soul-searching journey to recalibrate a spiritual compass and find new purpose in life.


TADAIMA

George, Akiko, Kaori, and Kazuo return to their former house following the end of World War II and the closure of the Japanese American confinement sites. Arriving home, they find the house ransacked by vandals and in a state of disrepair, but there is a glimmer of hope that the future holds better days. 

SCREENINGS SPECS

  • Format: Blu-ray, DVD, or digital file (.mov, .mp4, etc.)
  • Runtime: 75 minutes
  • Language: English and Japanese (w/ subtitles)
  • Rating: Unrated, family-friendly

PROGRAM THEMES & DISCUSSION TOPICS

The troubling story of Japanese American incarceration during WWII is an important but often glossed-over part of American history. "Hidden Histories" commemorates and explores this complicated history through four short films, coupled with an optional post-screening panel discussion, including reflections on how this history is relevant today. Themes and discussion topics include:

  • Civil liberties vs. national security
  • Wartime hysteria
  • Immigration and naturalization
  • Patriotism and national identity