Tuesday, November 08, 2011

PBS: "In Time of War: The Japanese-American Experience"; "War Redefined" from "Women, War & Peace"

Different PBS stations Tuesday night focused on the effect of war on civilians.

WHUT, Howard University Television, presented “In Time of War: The Japanese-American Experience of WWII”, by Andrea Palpant Dilley, from American Public Television (2004, 2006).  The link is here

The program chronicles the involuntary internment of the Nisei, or Japanese-Americans, during WWII, shortly after Pearl Harbor, in stages. The film focused on the facility near Twin Falls, Idaho, in the Winter.  Japanese were evicted on short notice and allowed to bring few belongings. Their properties and businesses were expropriated, although eventually some would be compensated.  The people lived in clapboard dorms, but some were eventually allowed to work and go to college.  When they returned after the War, real estate agents would not sell to them and their former homes were gone. They were burdened with having to explain themselves. I know that kind of feeling personally.

The film discussed the unconstitutionality of the measure, while the Supreme Court looked the other way.  It also violates the Geneva Convention, as we were taught about it in Army Basic Training. I wrote a term paper in eighth grade (1957) on the “Home Front During WWII” and was quite shocked that internment had happened.  Teachers could not explain it.

It’s well to mention the 1990 film “Come See the Paradise”, directed by Alan Parker (Fox) about the intermarriage issue and the Nisei.


The MPT showed an episode “War Redefined” from the series “Women, War and Peace”, link here or here (June 2011). Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright and Condoleeza   Rice appear.

The program examined local wars in small, failed states, ranging from Bosnia and Rwanda to Afghanistan. It made the pitch that “human security” should come before “national security”, particularly in the 21st Century world where the enemies are tribalistic and decentralized.   The program examined closely how war affects women specifically. Hillary Clinton speaks of “Heart of Darkness” activities. "How do you create peace?"

Abigail E. Disney has a detailed review today in the Huffington Post here

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