“Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story” will premiere at the California Museum in Sacramento, 1020 O Street, 95817 on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m.
In the fall of 1942, Frida Mix, a teacher in Seattle heard about the order to remove all of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, Frida moved to Mesa, Ariz. with her 15-year-old daughter and volunteered to teach at the Gila concentration camp. Frida told the camp authorities that her daughter was 18 years old so she could volunteer to work at the Gila Hospital.
Frida was incensed by this horrific act of a nation, and gave up a teaching position in Washington to be a part of the many who helped to make a more bearable life at Gila River.
“We must make right a terrible wrong,” Frida told Ruth, as they rode the military bus into the prison camp for Ruth’s first day at the hospital. Ruth was the only white nurse’s aide amongst a staff comprised entirely of Japanese American internees. The film focuses on the hardships and the friendships the were created in the harsh environment of the camps.
The documentary was produced, written and directed by Ruth’s daughter Claire Mix. In 2007, when Ruth was 65 years and diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, she urged Claire, a Sacramento school teacher to make a documentary about her experiences and the many horrible events she witnessed during the three years in the camp.
Hy Shishino of the Gila River Committee said the Japanese American National Museum has requested to be the first organization to show the documentary in Los Angeles area sometime in January or February.
“Gila River and Mama: The Ruth Mix Story” was made possible with grants from the CCLEP, Teleview Systems of Mountain View and funds raised by the Gila Reunion Committee.
For more information, visit ruthmix.clairemix.com or call the California Museum at (916) 653-7524.