‘For the Sake of the Children’ to Be Screened in S.F. Japantown

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Former incarcerees and their descendants talk about the impact of the camps in “For the Sake of the Children.” Pictured: Amy Tsubokawa, granddaughter Stephanie Gillman and daughter Patti Tsubokawa Reeves.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Poston Community Alliance will present the San Francisco premiere of “For the Sake of the Children,” a documentary revealing the long-term impact of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II, on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. at New People Cinema, 1746 Post St. in San Francisco Japantown.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion entitled “From Executive Order 9066 to Executive Orders Today: Out Rights, Our Democracy, Our Freedom,” featuring representatives from the ACLU, the Muslim American community and the Japanese American community.

“For the Sake of the Children” is a multigenerational story of survival, struggle and transcendence beginning​ with mothers who raised children in America’s concentration camps. Now, 75 years after Executive Order 9066, the film explores the legacy of the incarceration, its impact on current generations, who are descendants of ​those imprisoned, and the complex interplay of culture, racial prejudice, history, and intergenerational differences. It is rich with interviews with mothers who gave birth and raised children while incarcerated as well as three generations of descendants.

“For the Sake of the Children” follows the journeys of a variety of Japanese Americans from different generations searching for their identity as Americans with a unique heritage. These individuals reflect a cross-section of society, such as artists, politicians, preservationists, journalists, activists and young students. Notable individuals include: Norman Mineta, former congressman and former U.S. secretary of transportation, and George Takei, actor and civil rights activist, both of whom were incarcerated as children. Many of these stories have never been told until now.

Marlene Shigekawa, executive director/producer/writer, has a broad base of experience as a producer, director, screenwriter, and diversity consultant. She has just completed her narrative script, “Hawk Dreamer,” inspired by her family’s experiences at the Poston camp, which was located in Arizona on the Colorado River Tribes Reservation.

She is a published author of several books, including children’s books on the Japanese American incarceration, and has won awards for her feature screenplays, which cross a number of topics and genres. She is a board member and project director for the Poston Community Alliance. As a diversity consultant she has worked throughout the U.S. with corporate executives and school administrators and has made presentations at universities and colleges. She has a B.A. in English from the University of California and a M.S. in counseling from California State University, East Bay.

Suggested donation: $10. For tickets, click here.

The mission of the Poston Community Alliance, a nonprofit organization, is to preserve the stories, artifacts and historic structures of the Poston concentration camp. For more information, visit www.forthesakeofchildren.org.

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