Hidden Histories is a touring program of five short narrative films about Japanese American incarceration 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.

This program is currently unavailable for screenings.

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