Hidden Histories is a touring program of short narrative films about Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Each film tells a personal story dramatizing a different period of this history, starting from Executive Order 9066 (which authorized the confinement sites). The program includes A Song for Manzanar, produced and directed, with much local support, by former Springfield resident, Kazuko Golden, based on a story from her mother Yosh Golden who was born in Manzanar concentration camp and is writing a book of creative non-fiction based on her mother's experiences. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988, declared that Japanese American incarceration was "motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." Despite this forceful statement, our nation is at risk of repeating these grave mistakes. Hidden Histories provides a much-needed reminder of the profound cost of abandoning our ideals of an inclusive society and equal protection under the law.
Kazuko Golden grew up in Springfield, earned a Bachelor of Arts from Earlham College in Peace and Global Studies and Sociology/Anthropology, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Producing from Columbia College in Chicago. While in graduate school, she interned at the Emmy Award winning Kartemquin Films and assisted with the 20th Anniversary premiere of "Hoop Dreams", and the premiere launch of "Life Itself, a Roger Elbert Documentary" at Sundance. Her production and directorial debut, "A Song for Manzanar" was accepted into the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival and several festivals nationwide in the U. S.
Yosh Golden was born in Manzanar Concentration Camp, one of 10 such camps in the U. S. During WW II. She has studied, written and spoken about the internment. She is writing a book on her family's life experience, brief sections of which have been previously published.
Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science at UIS. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky is the founder of Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS). The idea behind PAPS is to consider how "political art" raises provocative social and political questions, and to engage in discussion with students, faculty, and members of the general public.