"Until we can talk about the experience and make a connection with our grief and anger, we will each still be unconsciously trying to get out of our own personal prison camp. Our experience was unique, but it's an example of the broader experience of racism, how it permeates lives, and how we each attempt to survive it. It's about trauma and suffering, but it also is about our strength."
Dr. Satsuki Ina, PhD
remember the soldiers marching us to the Army tank and I looked
at their rifles and I was just terrified because I could see
this long knife at the end . . . I thought I was imagining it
as an adult much later . . . I thought it couldn't have been
bayonets because we were just little kids."
"Children of the Camps"
of the Camps
is a one-hour documentary that portrays the poignant stories
Japanese Americans who were incarcerated as children in US prison camps during W.W.II.
The film captures a three-day intensive group experience, during
which the participants are guided by Dr. Satsuki Ina, a university professor and therapist, through a process that enables them to speak honestly about their experiences and the continuing impact of incarceration on their lives today.
Dr. Ina, who was born in the Tule Lake prison camp, has developed and conducted this workshop for more than ten years for other former child prisoners.
The workshop participants openly share their pain as they watched
their parents endure, how their families were torn apart, and
ultimately how they survived in a world that had accused and
ostracized them at a young age simply because of the color of
Through the telling of their personal stories, we witness an
unfolding of the long-held trauma of their early childhood experience.
The once secret and darkly shrouded private suffering becomes
clearer and better understood, thus clearing the way for self-acceptance
and new possibilities.
More generally, the documentary sheds light on the deeply damaging
of racism and offers an opportunity for viewers to understand
the consequences of growing up as a scapegoated minority group
Woven through the program are Dr. Ina's insights, historical
photographs and film footage, and an overview narrated by award-winning
poet and author Lawson Fusao Inada.
| Documentary | History
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