Documentary | VHS | Closed Captioning
Producer: Midori Sperandeo
FORSAKEN FIELDS delves into the little-known history of California’s Japanese American farmers before, during and after they were forced into U.S. internment camps, along with 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. In spite of anti-Asian legislation, many Japanese American farmers finally achieved a measure of financial success by the 1940s, only to be forced to abandon their land and livelihood. Refusing to let their grim camp environment destroy their spirits, these farmers instead turned their prison yards into gardens, creating small patches of beauty and hope to get them through the desolate times. Interspersing vivid footage of camp life, painful recollections of property loss and the racial discrimination they faced as they returned to their farms, this moving documentary captures the emotional complexity and resiliency of a community determined to survive one of the darker chapters in national history.