Passing Poston

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Director/Writer/Producer: Joe Fox

Director/Editor/Producer: James Nubile


Subjects: , ,

During World War II, almost 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly relocated and spent the war years in one of ten internment camps located in remote and desolate areas throughout this country.

One such camp was the Poston Relocation Center.

Situated on an Indian reservation in the Arizona desert, Poston was the place that Ruth Okimoto spent her childhood years.

PASSING POSTON is about Ruth’s lifelong journey of coming to terms with her past. Of trying to reconcile the years that she and her family spent, as American citizens behind barbed wire.

PASSING POSTON is set against the backdrop of Ruth’s journey as she seeks to answer questions about Poston that have haunted her since childhood. It is a journey that leads to answers that startle and disturb as Ruth’s quest in finding out more about the past reveals the real reasons as to why the Poston Camp came into being.

For what Ruth learns is that Poston was not just built with the purpose of serving only as an internment camp. But the government’s real purpose for Poston was to bring Japanese labor onto the reservation to help develop the land for the Indian tribes living there.

Ruth’s story is that of a women’s aching and poignant search to find meaning in the inexplicable. Woven in with the stories of other former Poston internees, PASSING POSTON is a story of wounded individuals still searching, in their seventies and eighties, for their identity and still questioning what their place is in America.

It is a story that gives voice to their alienation and dislocation. It is a story of discovery. Of redemption. And ultimately of resolution.

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