On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Entire communities were unjustly placed under suspicion and moved to camps overseen by the U.S. military. One such camp near the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, Manzanar, has long been a salient reminder of the grave injustice done.
Since 1969, former internees together with their families and friends have been gathering annually at the Manzanar cemetary to remember and to honor. Now, in a post 9/11 world, the journey to Manzanar is one of retrospection and solidarity for people of all ages, races and nationalities.
Award-winning short film Pilgrimage shares the inspiring story of Manzanar. With a hip music track, never-before-seen archival footage and a story-telling style that features young and old, Pilgrimage reveals how the Japanese American community reclaimed a national experience that had almost been deleted from public understanding and gave it new meaning for diverse generations.
Pilgrimage is presented in partnership with Japanese American Citizens League Houston and Holocaust Museum Houston. A conversation with Karen L. Ishizuka and filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura will follow the screening.