TV viewers in the Pacific Northwest tuning in to the Winter Olympics this week have been getting an unexpected, 30-second education in America’s wartime incarceration camps, thanks to a personal testimonial I gave for the importance of the work of KING-TV’s Lori Matsukawa.
The story I refer to was Lori’s exceptional week-long series, “Prisoners in Their Own Land.” It aired one year ago on the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 — by coincidence, one month after the inauguration of the new president. It made his base uncomfortable and sparked reactionary accusations of liberal bias that forced the station into the ridiculous defensive position of having to respond with “Why KING 5 is airing a series on the internment of Japanese Americans.” It harkened back to the 1970s, when Japanese Americans had to justify speaking to the truth of their own experience. You can see Lori’s full series here. In the third segment, “Warriors and Resisters,” Lori gathered my comments on the community ostracism of the no-no’s and draft resisters, and featured some clips from CONSCIENCE.
CONSCIENCE will screen later this week as part of the “Films of Resistance” series for the 2018 Day of Remembrance at ACC Senior Services, on 7334 Park City Drive in Sacramento. The date is Friday, February 23, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. After the screening I’ll speak on a panel moderated by Dr. Linda Revilla, along with retired Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Charles Kobayashi and Dr. Phillip Akutsu of Sacramento State University, whose father Jim Akutsu is featured in our film and also in our forthcoming book on John Okada. The event is co-sponsored by the Jan Ken Po Cultural Association and is supported by a grant from API Rise. Admission is free and open to the public, but they ask you to RSVP to [email protected] or (916) 393-9026.
The next day, Saturday, February 24, I’ll be in San Francisco to moderate a screening for the Nichi Bei Weekly’s 2018 Films of Remembrance.
Screening at 6:00 pm at New People Cinena on 1746 Post St., will be “Speak Out For Justice” (2018, 14 min., see the trailer), Steve Nagano’s new film drawn from video of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings in Los Angeles in 1981. DVDs of Conscience will be on sale at a discount, with all proceeds going to the Nichi Bei Weekly’s operating fund, or wherever Kenji needs it.
If you’re in the area for either event, please join us and say you read about it here.