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Passing Poston (2008)

Passing Poston , Joe Fox , James Nubile  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Passing Poston
  • Directors: Joe Fox, James Nubile
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00197POZO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,356 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Illuminating and worthwhile --Los Angeles Times

Powerful and Poignant --Seattle Times

Five Stars...Classic --Hartford Courant

Product Description

During World War II, almost 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly relocated and spent the war years in one of ten internment camps located in the some of the nation s most inhospitable and desolate places. One such camp, situated on an Indian Reservation on the Arizona desert, was the Poston Relocation Center.

Weaving personal stories and moving archival footage, PASSING POSTON tells the untold story of how Japanese internees were used by the US government to help develop a Native American reservation. It is the story of four former Poston internees wounded individuals still searching for their identity and still questioning what their place is in America. For Ruth Okimoto, the need to confront the past brings her back to the desert of Arizona where she spent her childhood years behind barbed wire. It is a journey Ruth takes to find meaning in the inexplicable as she searches to discover the true story of how the Poston camp came into being.

Directed by award-winning journalists Joe Fox and James Nubile PASSING POSTON is a powerful and haunting story that gives voice to the internees alienation and dislocation.

DVD Features: Making of PASSING POSTON; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailer; Filmmaker Biography

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see: history too important to be forgotten December 21, 2008
I had the privilege of first seeing this movie at a screening with some of the filmmakers and participants at the National Museum of the American Indian. I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience by the end, and having just rewatched the DVD, I can attest to the fact that it has the same emotional impact on the small screen.

Japanese internment during WWII and the United States' treatment of the indigenous population are both painful subjects that cannot be ignored. This film deals with both in a respectful and dignified way, letting people tell their own stories. Anyone who watches it cannot help but share in the pain that this documentary highlights. It is terribly important, in my opinion, that people be aware of this history, for being aware of the history makes it impossible to look the other way when it happens again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker High School February 12, 2011
I was lucky enough to watch the first showing of this movie at Parker High School in Parker, AZ. I was 17 at the time and this movie has been with me ever since. The small town of Parker is right on the edge of the Colorado River Indian Reservation where the Poston Camp is located, and yes, I am an American Indian myself, athough Im not from that reservation myself.

The movie made me cry and still does to this day, I asked a question of Rue and her answer is still as clear as the day I got to see the movie. I asked how she felt being connected to the tribe through her time at the camp, she replied "I am proud to be connected to the land and the people who live here."

This movie is wonderful and educational, some people dont like to think back on dark times like this but its a way to learn and move on. To be thankful for what you have got and what could have been, its opened my eyes to the fact that its not just Native Americans who suffer on the rez.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film! October 17, 2008
Verified Purchase
This movie is long overdue and very well done! Too little has been said, written, and filmed about the Internment and the vast injustice done to Americans -- Americans! -- because they "looked like the enemy."

Congratulations to Joe Fox and James Nubile for making "Passing Poston." The film is shot well, with a beautiful score, and allows the story to unfold gracefully, using the words of the three main participants.

The words and images of the principals are more than touching. They will break your heart. There are many places where you can (and should) cry. There is great honesty, a cautious hope, and a strong element of forgiveness.

I saw "Passing Poston" at the Sacramento International Film Festival on March 29, 2008. I sat next to Kiyo Sato, one of the principals, and her grandson. The best seat in the house.

This film will move you, and you will keep the DVD forever.

Barry Schoenborn, Willow Valley Press
Publisher of "Dandelion Through the Crack," by Kiyo Sato
(not a commercial announcement, as the book is now out of print)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Hypocrisy in World War II April 24, 2014
As a reader of history, particularly the past century and especially during World War II era, this movie epitomizes why we Americans are so often criticized by other countries as being hypocrites. Prior to our involvement in World War II. Our own policies at the time allowed nearly no immigration from the embattled European countries, particularly if the individuals were Jews. Once Japan made an act of war at Pearl Harbor, our representatives quickly forced our own Japanese Americans into camps (they were given two weeks from the passage of law to get to their assigned camp). This documentary focuses on the unique agenda of the Poston camp.

Poston was set amidst the tumbleweed desert land given to the Colorado River Indian Tribes in Arizona. While not initially in contact with these Indians,(it was alluded that as years passed some were allowed to interact with them). These Japanese along with their Japanese American family members (some were children of adult immigrants, who were not yet citizens, while others were Americans from several generations back) worked the land digging deep trenches, so that the government could set up irrigation systems on behalf of the Native Americans on this Reservation. Once completed, they were responsible to farm this area (most had no farming background). Mind you, many of these individuals were professionals and while some people, such as medical doctors, nurses etc., were employed in the community or allowed to practice in small surrounding communities for those American not captive because of their skin, many of the Japanese were well-educated only to become laborers almost over night.
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