George Takei and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Karen Day’s ‘Bamboo and Barbed Wire’ is a turbulent narrative of America under stress – past and present. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan, Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned as a threat to national security. Today, post 9/11, Muslims are feared as potential terrorists and banned from this country. Day’s film chronicles the crumbling of the U.S. justice system under the force of fear and prejudice at the northernmost U.S. internment camp, Minidoka, in Idaho. These tales of injustice, inhumanity and hatred are told interlaced with poetry, poignant personal histories, and the visual majesty of desolate landscapes. The echo of the past is sharply audible still today as the film records the anguish of those impacted by the Muslim travel ban. Can this teach us the lessons of our human fallibility and make America a truer democracy?”
– George Takei
“Like many Idahoans before her, when Karen Day visited the Minidoka landmark where thousands of Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, it was an emotional and life-changing moment. But what distinguishes Day from the rest of us is that she happens to be a superb filmmaker, and when she's inspired, an equally inspiring film usually follows...”
“The documentary Bamboo and Barbed Wire examines the history of a Japanese internment camp in Idaho. The director, Karen Day, will screen the movie Friday afternoon at the Walmart World Room and Satuday afternoon at the Skylight Cinema as part of the Bentonville Film Festival...”
“Bamboo and Barbed Wire documents the stories of Japanese-Americans interned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Jerome County, Idaho and looks at parallels to current events. The film is premiering at The Egyptian Theatre and Idaho Matters talks with the film's director, Karen Day, and Katie Hirai, president of the Boise Valley Japanese American Citizens League and granddaughter of Katherine Chizuru Hirai, a Minidoka internee...”
Three years ago, I visited Minidoka, the site of the former Japanese internment camp in Idaho. As an American, I struggled to find words to express my feelings–shame at my ignorance of this moment in our country’s history, sorrow for the suffering inflicted on innocent citizens and guilt, even though I wasn’t born when President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066.
As an American and filmmaker, I’m committed to bringing to light this TIMELY story of racial prejudice and social injustice–especially as hate and divisiveness continues to escalate in our national dialogue.
Over the past three years, I’ve donated my time and skills to document the stories of those interned at MINIDOKA, interviewing remaining survivors, their families and bringing to life their personal sacrifices, losses and grace under pressure. These former internees taught me the meaning of the word GAMAN and inspired me to make this film.
Producing documentaries is my way of giving back and many people have joined my efforts to tell this important story.