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Picture This: 'Moving Walls' With Post-Screening Panel Presentation

The San Diego premiere of the documentary short “Moving Walls” tells the story of what happened at Wyoming’s Heart Mountain concentration camp when hundreds of WWII barracks were sold for a dollar apiece to veterans-turned-homesteaders.

The screening will be held at San Diego Central Public Library’s Monday Night Film Series, Picture This, April 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Los Angeles writer/filmmaker Sharon Yamato and former San Diego native Stan Honda, whose work is featured in the film and accompanying book, will take part in the post-screening panel presentation.

Professor Susan Hasegawa, chair of the San Diego City College History Department will moderate the panel that also features former detainee Mitsuko Kawamoto, who was incarcerated at the Poston camp in Arizona.

Because the barracks at this particular camp were distributed widely after the war, they have been repurposed today as storage buildings, garages, churches, homes, and can be seen throughout the Wyoming farming community. One of the Heart Mountain barracks that survived is also now permanently exhibited at the Japanese American National Museum, and represents one of its most important visual artifacts from the confinement period.

At the same time that homesteaders were building new lives on the frontier, Japanese American detainees were struggling to regain productive lives. As filmmaker Yamato notes, this period in our history illustrates how “an American tragedy became part of the American dream.”

Stan Honda, an award-winning photographer who has become well known for night sky photography since leaving the wire service, Agence France Presse, is committed to furthering the story partially based on his own family’s experience of being incarcerated at the Poston camp.

Yamato and Honda both have families who were sent to Poston from Los Angeles and San Diego, respectively. Both their families returned to California, eventually ending up in the Pasadena and San Diego areas, respectively.

The program is co-sponsored by the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, the San Diego Central Library, and the Buddhist Temple of San Diego.

Funded by the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program for the year 2014-2015, the book and film were produced under the fiscal sponsorship of Visual Communications, Inc. The program is also partially funded by the California Civil Liberties Program.

For more information about this event, contact Joyce Teague ( or Susan Yamate ( at the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego or Tracy Stegeman ( at the San Diego Central Library.

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

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