Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story

Fred Korematsu was probably never more American than when he resisted, and then challenged in court, the forced internment of Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps, during World War II.This documentary takes a personal look at Korematsu, a 1999 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, who attempted to conceal his identity as a Japanese American, became alienated from this family and community, and then made the complex decision to become a legal “test case” against the U.S. government’s forced removal of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry from their homes to the camps. Although he lost his landmark Supreme Court case in 1944, he never lost his indignation and resolve. A well-paced intermix of testimony archival footage, reenactments and interviews with members of the Coram Nobis legal team exposes the shocking story of how U.S. government attorneys deliberately suppressed evidence in the Supreme Court case which led to Korematsu’s conviction in 1944. This moving and engrossing documentary reveals the untold story of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Korematsu – one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory.

Fred Korematsu was honored with:

  • The Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Jesse Jackson’s PUSH/Rainbow Coalition Award
  • Pearlstein Civil Rights Award – The Anti-Defamation League
  • Roger Baldwin Award – The National ACLU

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