Heart Mountain Screening & Exhibit Controversy

An American Contradiction is screening at the Multigenerational Arts Event at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center on Saturday, August 11th. I’m very excited to present at this venue, considering Heart Mountain is right outside the doorstep.

Saturday, August 11th | 11:10am, 1:15pm, 2:30pm

This year’s pilgrimage will be particularly interesting due to the controversy surrounding the new exhibit at the Interpretive Center titled “Perceptions of Muslims in America.” The Powell Tribune conducted an open poll on July 19th asking “Do you agree with the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center’s decision to host an exhibit featuring Muslim portraits?” Currently, 55.9% agree and 44.1% disagree. These percentages are surprisingly close.

It’s also interesting that the disagreement comes from the general public as well as within the Japanese American community. George Yoshinaga from the Rafu Shimpo bluntly wrote in his column on July 31st: “As a former resident at Heart Mountain, I am pissed off with an exhibit that has nothing to do with the evacuation of 120,000 Japanese Americans. Just who made such a stupid decision?”

Even I draw parallels between the Muslim American and Japanese American experiences in An American Contradiction. Prejudice in the time of war exists and needs to be carefully watched. Yoshinaga’s words clearly show that more work has to be done to make the incarceration relevant to current events.

2 Responses to Heart Mountain Screening & Exhibit Controversy

  1. Dean Furukawa says:

    As a descendent of an internment camp survivor, I had the good fortune to view An American Contradiction at the 2012 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage. I was deeply moved by this movie, which featured the mother, a camp survivor, and her daughter, who learned about what her mother and family had been through, in part by visiting the Heart Mountain exhibits. The movie is educational, about a little known part of history that all Americans would be better informed to know more about, the American concentration camps of WWII. I don’t think that the film was alienating, rather like Japanese Americans themselves, it is subtle, understated, its essence lies in between the words, in what is hinted at, yet left for the viewer to make meaning of personally. The mood and tone are captured in this story, and the music compliments the story very well, with a hauntingly seamless background, rendered with sensitivity. I very highly recommend this movie. I have viewed longer length movies on the internment, yet this movie covers a lot of ground, it can be viewed within our nowadays short attention span, and it leaves its messages and nuances with us in our shared humanity. I hope to get a copy when it becomes available, to share with my mother.

    • admin says:

      Hi Dean, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I’m beaming with gratitude. You’ll be the first to know when there’s an official DVD. Many thanks, Vanessa


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