In honor of Day of Remembrance, join us on Thursday, February 15, 2024 for a screening of ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 followed by a discussion of the film with film director Jon Osaki and film producer Lauren Kawana.
Day of Remembrance, on February 19th, marks the day in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, giving the U.S. Army the authority to forcibly remove and incarcerate Americans of Japanese ancestry residing on the West Coast during WWII. Every February, the Japanese American community commemorates Executive Order 9066 as a reminder of the impact the incarceration experience has had on their families, community, and our country. It is an opportunity to educate others on the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis, and the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all.
ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is a documentary feature film about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film sheds light on the people and politics that influenced the signing of the infamous Executive Order 9066, which authorized the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans, and chronicles one of the most dark, twisted, and nefarious cover-ups in American history.
In today’s climate of fear and “fake news”, the story of the unjust World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans is a cautionary tale about this country’s democracy and the fragile balance of power within our government. While the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans has been acknowledged as a “mistake,” ALTERNATIVE FACTS challenges the historical narrative and promotes healthy dialogue about race, religion, and the importance of speaking out when our democracy falters.
Jon Osaki is a native San Franciscan and has served as the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council since 1996. During Jon’s tenure as Executive Director, JCYC has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most successful child and youth development organizations, annually serving over 6,000 children and youth from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Under Jon’s leadership, JCYC’s programs have received national recognition for achieving outstanding outcomes for young people and the organization is frequently called upon by the City of San Francisco to implement new initiatives for children and youth.
Jon is also an award-winning filmmaker who has directed and produced promotional, educational, narrative, and documentary films. Over the past few years, he has had films screened at film festivals and community events across the country. As a filmmaker, Jon views this genre as the next step in his lifelong pursuit of social justice and equity.
Currently Jon’s first feature documentary, ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is broadcasting nationwide on PBS stations. In addition, he has recently received the “Activism in Film Award” by the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, “Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award” by the Best Short Film Competition, and the “Health Equity Community Award” by the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum.
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Lauren Kawana currently works in the San Francisco Bay Area as an independent documentary director, producer, camera operator and editor. She has worked on doc shorts, series, and feature films such as Try Harder! directed by Debbie Lum; FREE: The Power of Performance directed by Suzanne LaFetra and David Collier, and Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw directed by Rick Goldsmith.