Prisoners and Patriots film tells the untold story of a Japanese internment camp

A journalist friend of mine is raising money so he can distribute his documentary film about a previously untold story: the internment of more than 4,500 Japanese men, including United States citizens, in Santa Fe during World War II.

The documentary draws from “20 hours of exclusive interviews with former Santa Fe survivors and their families, declassified government documents and private photographs,” and “tells a story that, in many cases, fathers never told their own children after the war,” according to its director, Neil Simon, who notes as part of his request for help to fund it that “No film, book, or museum collection exists to tell the full story of what happened there, who the men were, their lives before the war, and where they went after.”

Neil is raising money via Kickstarter to distribute the film. Donors can give $1 or more; pledging $25 or more gets them the DVD first, while $50 gets their name in the credits. (If you’ve never heard of Kickstarter, it’s a pretty awesome way for creative people to fund specific projects; if a goal isn’t reached, no one pays, and donations result in tangible benefits for those who give. Other documentary filmmakers are also seeking funding.)

You can watch an excerpt from the film, and there’s a director’s statement from Neil on Kickstarter; here’s its trailer:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.