Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp
Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 11 p.m. on KPBS 2 / Stream now with the PBS App
Survivors of Minidoka, a concentration camp in the Idaho desert, tell the story of the incarceration of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government purely on the basis of race. Through a series of compelling interviews, “Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp” explores the unconstitutional suspension of the civil rights of these Americans during WWII and the long-lasting impact of the incarceration on their community.
The film also explores the far-reaching effects of the incarceration, particularly the phenomenon the intergenerational trauma that has pervaded many American families. Over 40 camp survivors and descendants bring an unparalleled urgency to the story.
Interviewees include the late Kay Sakai Nakao, one of the first Japanese Americans to be taken; the poet Larry Matsuda; Paul Tomita, whose father went directly from camp to join the OSS (the U.S. intelligence agency during WWII); Satsuki Ina, a trauma therapist who was herself born in a concentration camp; and many others.
Narrated by actor Tamlyn Tomita, the documentary highlights the rise of Japanese American activism in defense of the rights of others, emphasizing the relevance the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans present-day events, namely the targeting of groups based on their religion or ethnicity and the actions of the U.S. government at its southern border.
The project includes an educational program crafted by expert curriculum writers to accompany the one-hour film. These insightful lesson plans, study guides, activities, and four additional short films will provide educators the resources necessary to bring the incarceration story into the classroom nationwide. To learn more about the project and access the educational program, please visit betrayedfilm.com/education.
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© 2022 North Shore Productions. Executive Producer/Director: Rory Banyard; Writer: Sarah Kass; Composer: Mark Orton; Narrator: Tamlyn Tomita. Presented and distributed by American Public Television