“RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE”— Japanese Americans During World War II

“Resistance at Tule Lake”

Japanese Americans During World War II

Amos Lassen

We do not often get to see the whole historical picture of certain events so it becomes our responsibility to discover and recognize all the important moments deserving to be remembered. For many many years it was practically impossible to find even a short article about the discrimination campaign against the Japanese-American during World War II in the United States. We can imagine why this was the case.

Konrad Aderer’s “Resistance at Tule Lake” adds important information to what we know about the existence of concentration camps where Japanese-Americans were held in fear that they could be spies working for the Japanese government. Aderer’s film sets out to break the myth behind this shameful events.

One of the claims is that the Japanese-American community surrendered quietly. Aderer’s research however demonstrates through sometimes painful interviews how history got this wrong— they weren’t all quiet, a minority turned the volume up and had its voice heard.

There were events that led many to go back to Japan despite being American citizens since birth. Others were heartbroken by their own country and stopped trusting the institutions. Many tried to resist against a forced and uncalled request of allegiance to people that had no more links to Japan than any other member of the North-American people.

Aderer used everything he could to present the facts and unfortunately there’s nothing next to the tales told or any other information grown out of Aderer’s research. The film consists of archive images, interviews and few outdoors sequences at Tule Lake, where the camp still stands as a symbol of a dark decision by the US government. It has no other purpose except the desire to divulge Aderer’s knowledge of the Resistance.

In order to truly understand, this film must be watched as a regular television documentary that is useful for its contents, but not to entertain the viewer or catch his attention. It should be approached knowing Aderer’s intentions and to be appreciated for what it wants to be: yet another call for justice. 

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