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The Ito Sisters
November 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Ito Sisters Reveals a Little-Known Chapter of the Early Japanese American Experience
The Osher Marin JCC is excited to host a special screening of the documentary film The Ito Sisters. Directed and produced by Antonia Grace Glenn, the documentary captures the rarely told stories of the earliest Japanese immigrants to the United States and their American-born children. In particular, the film focuses on the experiences of Issei (or immigrant) and Nisei (or first generation born in the US) women, whose voices have largely been excluded from American history. The evening is presented in partnership with Canal Alliance, Brandeis Marin, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Following the film, all are invited to stay for a moderated panel discussion, drawing historical parallels between the Japanese American incarceration camps, and the current immigration crisis. Of particular focus will be how wartime incarceration disproportionately affects women and children, leading to trauma that can take generations to address and begin to heal.
*The film and panel discussion are appropriate for middle school-aged children and up.
Concessions will be available for purchase at the program.
• Lucia Martel Dow, Director of Immigration & Social Services, Canal Alliance
• Dr. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Lead Scholar, The Ito Sisters & founding director of the Center for Race & Gender, UC Berkeley
• Dr. Peg Sandel, Head of School, Brandeis Marin
WHAT: The Ito Sisters – Documentary Film Showing + Panel Discussion
TICKETS: Tickets: $8 -$10 / Free Kids 17 & Under
WHEN: Thursday, November 7, 7-9pm – General Admission Seating
WHERE: The Osher Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
MORE: Concessions of light snacks, coffee, sodas & tea available for purchase.
ABOUT THE FILM
The Ito Sisters reveals a little-known chapter of American history, focusing on life in what was essentially a California plantation system between the world wars, with Asian and Mexican laborers working the fields of white landowners. At the center of the film are three Nisei sisters. Their personal narratives are set against the backdrop of the anti-Japanese movement in California, a 60-year campaign by politicians, journalists, landowners, labor leaders and others that culminated in the forced removal and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast.
The themes of the film are particularly timely as 2017 was the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which authorized the start of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. In the current political climate of camps set up to detain undocumented people attempting to cross our border; anti-immigrant scapegoating; the rejection of refugees seeking asylum; and bans on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, the heated rhetoric is remarkably familiar. Some contemporary politicians and pundits have even cited the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as a precedent for the Muslim ban and the incarceration of refugee children and families.
At the core of The Ito Sisters is the theme of citizenship and American identity, and how the rights of immigrants and their children have been restricted, tested and/or established. The aim of the project is to inform audiences about a little-known chapter in US history, as told through the stories of three sisters whose lives spanned the 20th century and into the 21st.
FILM AWARDS & HONORS
In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2019, an hour-long version of THE ITO SISTERS was broadcast on more than 200 PBS stations around the country. THE ITO SISTERS has been an Official Selection of the Berkeley Video & Film Festival (where it was honored with a Grand Festival Award and an Audience Award); the Sacramento Japanese Film Festival (where it was recognized with an Emerging Filmmaker Award); the Women’s Film Festival San Diego; the Boston Asian American Film Festival (where it received the Audience Choice Award for Feature Documentary); the Asian Pop-Up Cinema Festival in Chicago; the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles (where it was honored with the Best Documentary Award); and the Cincinnati African & Asian Diaspora Film Festival. Other screening events have been held at UC Berkeley; the Japanese American Museum of San Jose; The Presidio Trust in San Francisco; a Day of Remembrance event co-hosted by the Stockton Japanese American Citizens League and San Joaquin Delta College; the Sacramento River Delta Historical Society; the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles; Yale University; Tufts University; the Smithsonian Institution; and many other community venues.