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Screening of ‘A Matter of Truth’ and ‘Speaking Out!’

GARDENA — Filmmaker, Digital Histories Project participant and community activist Steve Nagano will show two of his documentaries at a meeting of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at Merit Park Recreation Hall, 58 Merit Park Dr. (off 158th Street, near Pacific Square) in Gardena.

Steve Nagano holds up DVDs of the 1981 CWRIC hearings. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

In “A Matter of Truth” (2017, 10 minutes), the government’s propaganda film on the evacuation of Japanese Americans to America’s concentration camps is juxtaposed against the testimonies of incarcerees given at a 1981 hearing of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC).

The film raises the questions of “Who do you believe?” and “What is the truth?” and should serve as an example of how the U.S. government — through euphemisms, distortions and alternative facts — attempts to give the wrong impression to its citizenry about the illegal roundup, forced removal, and inhumane incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“Speaking Out!” (2013, 6 minutes) also contains clips from the CWRIC hearings. Nagano worked on the federally funded Speak Out for Justice project, which preserved and indexed the 157 testimonies, 13 DVDs, of the 1981 Los Angeles CWRIC hearings. Sales of the DVD sets will be launched in December at the Japanese American National Museum.

Hearings were also held San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C. and other cities, but the L.A. hearings are apparently the only ones that were videotaped in their entirety.

All are welcome. For more information, call Louise at (310) 327-3169 or Janet at (310) 835-7568.

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