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Barry Rosenbush, the Emmy-winning producer behind the High School Musical phenomenon, delves once again deep into the heart of America with this heartfelt family drama set against the true story of a community in crisis in a World War II Japanese-American internment camp. Their loyalties questioned, their freedom suspended and their lives interrupted, numerous American families of Japanese descent were forced to live in internment camps. Unshakeable in their patriotism, they turned to the most American of sports -- baseball -- as an escape from their hardship.]]>
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Lyle Nomura (Aaron Yoo) is so American he plays jazz saxophone. He also loves baseball and was going to go to college on a baseball scholarship when Pearl Harbor ended that dream. The Nomura family ends up in the Topaz Relocation Center near Abraham, Utah, and like the rest of the prisoners (they are called that in the film and not detainees) they try to make a new life in the camp. His brother Lane (Leonardo Nam) gets out of the camp by joining the Army and going off to fight in Europe for the country that has put his family in a camp. Their father, Kaz (Masatoshi Nakamura), loves baseball as much as he loves America and he sets up a league in the camp.
Top billing in the film goes to Gary Cole as Billy Burrell, a guard at Topaz who is hard hitting catcher for the local semi-pro baseball team (I understand Cole is the "big name" in the cast, but he should have gone with an "and" credit at the end).Read more ›
I have shared the movie with others at my office who have shared it with their children. All of whom have enjoyed it.
The film follows the misfortunes of the Nomura family, a solidly middle class family from East Los Angeles. One minute, the family is celebrating with neighbors, the next, they are having to abandon their homes, soon to be shuttled off to eastern Utah. The couple`s two sons are as American as can be, listening to Big Band jazz and playing baseball.
The film does a remarkable and subtle job of portraying the hardships faced by the Nisei in their new `homes,` the `assignment process,` the guard towers with machine guns, the barbed wire, the constant invasion of privacy and the draconian measures dealt those who resisted in any way. Yet, Japanese-Americans neither complained nor protested the awful machinations and deprivations mandated by their government.
The father, Kaz (well-played by Japanese actor, Masatoshi Nakamura), is the prime exemplar of such an attitude. He neither questions the legitimacy of why he is where he is nor protests against it. Instead, he stoically accepts the situation and determines to make the best of it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking for a movie about Japanese-American internment camps during WW II to show to my high school students. My students really enjoyed watching it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roostermom
Used in 8th grade classroom as an introduction to our research paper on the Japanese internment during WWII. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SusanP
This movie would be great to show Junior and Senior high school students as a teaching tool about a very important part of our history.Published 11 months ago by Patton
I thought the movie made me think of the things our country did to others and how they have overcome that adversity.Published 11 months ago by David McCulloch
A very good American history lesson; don't miss this one.Published 15 months ago by Charles R Pruitt
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