Kahala To Screen ‘Manzanar’

The independent documentary, The Manzanar Fishing Club, written by Richard Iwamura and produced by Alan Sutton, premiers Friday at Kahala Theatre in Consolidated’s SpotlightAsia! program.

The film took six years to make, and is the result of nearly 70 hours of personal interviews that take viewers back to World War II and what it was like to be a Japanese-American in a paranoid country.

In February of 1942, President Roosevelt author-rized the use of intern camps in response to the Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor attack, allowing the U.S. government to send more than 110,000 Japanese men, women and children from their homes to remote military-style camps. The reason? They had the face of the enemy.

The film focuses on how the internees at the Manzanar camp in California were able to survive captivity while keeping their sanity intact. It’s a story of the human spirit set against captivity yet striving toward freedom and normalcy.

The film has important history with Hawaii as well. Iwamura’s grandfather, Makiso Kawaharada, was arrested by the FBI and put in a Maui jail without charge or trial for being “an important community leader” during the anti-Japanese hysteria. This was one reasons for the film’s development.

The Manzanar Fishing Club features surviving internees, their descendants, two Members of Parliament, Dr. Arthur Hansen, rangers from the Manzanar National Historic Site, and the Department of Fish and Game authority on the Eastern Sierra Fishery.

Kukui Mall 4 on Maui also will screen it. For details, go to fearnotrout.com or call 733-6243.