just beyond Hope: Women's Internment Stories

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Film & Other Media

Jan 201116 Feb 20111

British Columbia

Using personal archival photos, letters and newspapers, Just Beyond Hope creates a dialogue between white and Japanese, Canadian and American, first, second and third generation women. Each person offers their unique perspective. As these women tell their stories from different points of view, a fractured jigsaw puzzle of the time period builds memory fragment by memory fragment.

The historical issues triggered by war - of racism, nationalism, incarceration, enforced servitude, repatriation, reparations and land claims/occupation - are brought forward through the details of the women's daily lives.

Margaret is a young white Canadian social worker who wrote letters home from Tashme, the internment camp in British Columbia located 14 kilometers beyond Hope. Trudy is a Japanese-Canadian who was interned at Tashme with her family. Shyoko, a Japanese-American reads the texts of Mine Okuba's classic book, Citizen 13660. Shyoko's father Shiro Toda published The Rocky Shimpo, one of the only Japanese language newspapers that was published outside camp. These are the three main voices we hear.

In addition to Margaret's letters, the Rocky Shimpo newspaper articles (published by Shyoko's dad Shiro) and Trudy's family photos, the visuals include original filmed footage and the extraordinary photos that Dorothea Lange took which were impounded by the US government at the time and have only recently come to light.

Many of the women are in their 80s and it is vital to share their stories with a larger public. And to encourage them to share them with their children and grandchildren.

Just beyond Hope is almost finished. Your support will help complete the sound design and pay for photo rights and then take the work on tour. Please look at clips on the Just Beyond Hope website and help bring the work to your community.


pia . Last modified Jan 16, 2011 3:44 p.m.

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation