April 22 and 23 Oregon-made Film on Japanese Internment to Premier, Raise Funds for Japan

Oregon-made Film on Japanese Internment to Premier, Raise Funds for Japan

“Prisoners and Patriots” first film to focus solely on WWII camp run by Dept. of Justice


Media Contact:

Jodi Garber-Simon (503) 298-4569


Prisoners and Patriots, a film on the U.S. internment of Japanese during World War II, produced by third-generation Portlander Neil Simon will make its world premier in Portland on April 22. 

The event, featuring a Q&A with the director, will collect donations for the Oregon Japan Relief Fund to aid the region devastated by last month’s earthquake and tsunami.


Based on 20-hours of original interviews and declassified government documents, Prisoners and Patriots highlights a little known story of the Japanese experience during World War II, in a camp in Santa Fe, New Mexico where many Oregonians were incarcerated shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


“This film is my way of ensuring we all remember the wrongs suffered by our Japanese neighbors due to wartime hysteria,” said Simon, an award-winning TV journalist. “Many people know about the main relocation centers, but until this film the experiences of the men held behind barbed wire of Department of Justice camps have largely been a secret.”


Entitled "Prisoners and Patriots: The Untold Story of Japanese Internment in Santa Fe," the 90-minute film includes the story of one of Oregon's first Asian-American doctors, who after being arrested at the outbreak of the war ended up being the head doctor for the Santa Fe camp.

“These camps, the prisoners incarcerated in them, and their legacy cannot be forgotten, and it is a timely and vitally important story that needs to be told,” said Nicole Nathan, Director of Collections and Exhibits at the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, the organization bringing the premier to Portland.

The film screening and question and answer with the director is part of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center’s current exhibit Taken: FBI.  The film will screen at 6:30 p.m. April 22 and 1:30 p.m. April 23 at the University of Oregon Portland Campus (Room 142/44) at 70 NW Couch Street. The screening is hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Oregon.

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for the Oregon Japan Relief Fund.

To see a short version of the film go to www.vimeo.com/santafe.


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