Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hidden Histories

October 6, 2017

One University Plaza
Springfield, IL 62703

TIME: 4pm, 7pm Fri


PHONE: 217-206-8171

07:00 pm





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.


UIS to host two screenings of a documentary series exploring WWII Japanese American internment

WHAT:       The University of Illinois Springfield will host two screenings of the "Hidden Histories" film series. One of the three short films that will be shown is "A Song for Manzanar", which is based on a story of the family of Springfield resident Yosh Golden, who was born in the Manzanar concentration camp in California during WWII. Both screenings are free and open to the public.

WHEN:       Friday, October 6, 2017, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

WHERE:    UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Springfield native Kazuko Golden produced and directed the film "A Song for Manzanar." The film is part of a touring program featuring short narrative films about Japanese American incarceration during WWII called "Hidden Histories." Other films that will be shown include "The Orange Story" and "Tadaima." The films provide a reminder of the profound cost of abandoning American ideals and equal protection under the law, and the continuing threat of punitive government policies in a climate of fear.

                     Richard Gilman-Opalsky, UIS associate professor of political science will moderate a panel discussion following the 4 p.m. showing. Panelists will include Kazuko Golden, Yosh Golden, Erika Street Hopman from the "Hidden Histories" project who produced "The Orange Story" and Ali Nizamuddin, UIS associate professor of political science, representing the Islamic community.

                     The 7 p.m. screening will also be followed by a panel discussion about the films. The audience is then invited to a reception outside Brookens Auditorium to meet and greet Erika Street Hopman and Kazuko Golden, whose film has been screened at film festivals and venues across the U.S. and in France at the Cannes Film Festival where it was shown in the short films section. The screening is sponsored by the UIS Diversity Center and the History, Political Science, Sociology/Anthropology & Women & Gender Studies Departments.

The first screening, at 4 p.m., is part of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series and Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS). Students will only receive ECCE credit for the 4 p.m. event. Individuals with disabilities who plan to attend the 4 p.m. event and anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or in advance.

For more information about the screenings, contact Richard Gilman-Opalsky at 217/206-8328 or

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