Documentary | 2006 | 22 mins | DVD | Study Guide Available
Director/Co-Producer: Tadashi Nakamura
Co-Producer: Karen Ishizuka
Grade Levels: Middle school and up
Two young Japanese Americans set out to find an obscure place called Manzanar in the California desert, in 1969. This was one of ten sites where over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II. This rediscovery then became a “pilgrimage” and the first public event in the U.S. that called attention to the reality of these camps.
With a hip music track, never-before-seen archival footage and a story-telling style that features both old and new pilgrims, PILGRIMAGE is the first film to show how the WWII camps were reclaimed by the children of its victims and how the Manzanar Pilgrimage now has fresh meaning for diverse generations of people who realize that when the U.S. government herded thousands of innocent Americans into what the government itself called concentration camps, it was failure of democracy that would affect all Americans. As the U.S. is again in tumultuous times, this film is relevant and engaging bringing new and much-needed insight to the lessons of the past for our post-9/11 world.
SPECIAL FEATURES on the DVD include archival footage of the 1969 Pilgrimage to Manzanar, the 36th Annual Pilgrimage, a gathering for Ramadan in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles), and interviews.
This film was made possible in part by grants from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, UCLA in LA Community Partnership Program, and the California Wellness Foundation.