This feature documentary investigates the “Citizen Isolation Centers”, harsh and secret World War II prisons created within the Japanese American incarceration camp system to separate citizens deemed by the American Government as “trouble-makers” from the other Nikkei prisoners. These secret prisons have been called “precursors to Guantanamo.”
Interviews of professors, artists, and other former prisoners of the Japanese American incarceration system and archival and present day photographs bring this little known piece of United States history to life.
The repercussions from the four major Supreme Court cases related to this illegal imprisonment of all the 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry are also investigated. The story of Japanese American incarceration is increasingly relevant to today’s conversations about civil rights abuses and racial profiling. A Bitter Legacy makes clear why civic engagement and socio-political activism is so necessary to maintain a democratic society, especially during times of upheaval.
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