Videos

Videos For Teaching About Internment Experience

The videos listed below help provide the historical context and another window into a time in our nation’s history when justice failed. If you have additional videos to add to the collection, please contact Gail Desler and Kathleen Watt, Project Coordinators, with any updates.

World War II Video Resources

Elementary

  • Dear Miss Breed – The story of Clara Breed, a librarian during World War II, who used the mail to keep in contact with the Japanese- American students in the internment camps. Excerpts from some of the 250 letters to Miss Breed tell the story of incarceration and the eventual resettlement through the words of her former students.
  • Passing Poston – Weaving personal stories and moving archival footage, Passing Poston tells the untold story of how Japanese American internees incarcerated in the Poston Relocation Center in Arizona, were used by the U.S. government to help develop a Native American reservation. It is the story of four former Poston internees—wounded individuals still searching for their identity and still questioning what their place is in America.

Middle School

  • Dear Miss Breed – The story of Clara Breed, a librarian during World War II, who used the mail to keep in contact with the Japanese- American students in the internment camps. Excerpts from some of the 250 letters to Miss Breed tell the story of incarceration and the eventual resettlement through the words of her former students.
  • Interactions – Chronicles four high school students as they tackle one mission: to find out what life was like for teenagers in camp during World War II. Students explore the ruins of an actual camp and ask themselves, “What would I have done?” and “Could this happen to me?”
  • Tanforan: From Racetrack to Assembly Center – Hosted by Jan Yanihero, this is the first in-depth study of an assembly center and the beginnings of new cultural and social systems, which were developed then transferred to the permanent camps. Interviews with ex-internees tell compelling stories of the hardships and losses they endured during this period. Rare film footage, photographs and artwork are also featured.

High School

  • Interactions – Chronicles four high school students as they tackle one mission: to find out what life was like for teenagers in camp during World War II. Students explore the ruins of an actual camp and ask themselves, “What would I have done?” and “Could this happen to me?”
  • Something Strong Within – This award-winning video was created for the National Museum’s exhibition, America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience. A haunting compilation of never-before-seen home movies of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Includes footage from Amache, CO; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome, AR; Rohwer, AR; Topaz, UT; Tule Lake, CA; and Minidoka, ID.
  • Conscience and the Constitution, They Fought on Their Own Battlefield – Chronicles a handful of young Americans who refused to be drafted from an American internment camp. They were ready to fight for their country, but not before the government restored their rights as U.S. citizens and released their families from camp. This led to the largest trial for draft resistance in U.S. history. Narrated by George Takei (Actor: Star Trek).
  • Days of Waiting – Poignant documentary about an extraordinary woman, artist Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with 100,000 Japanese Americans in 1942. She refused to be separated from her Japanese American husband and lived with him for four years behind barbed wire in the desolate Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. Academy Award Winner, Best Documentary Short Subject.
  • Of Civil Rights and Wrongs: The Fred Korematsu Story – The untold history of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Korematsu — one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory. This film was selected to be part of “A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the United States Constitution,” a traveling exhibition organized by the American Library Association and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
  • Rabbit in the Moon – Fifty years later acclaimed filmmaker Emiko Omori asks her older sister and other detainees to reflect on the personal and political consequences of internment.
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