Thousands of Japanese Americans protested internment during World War II by refusing to affirmatively answer “loyalty questionnaires” and pledge unwavering fealty to the country that criminalized their community. The United States military deemed nearly 12,000 of these people “disloyal” and forcibly relocated them to Tule Lake Segregation Center in Northern California. “Resistance at Tule Lake,” a documentary that premiered on PBS and World Channel last night (May 6), explores these Japanese Americans’ resistance before and during internment.
“Resistance at Tule Lake” is the first of six documentaries that PBS and World Channel will air in tandem with the Center for Asian American Media during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May. The movie draws from rare color archival footage and interviews with survivors and family to highlight how Tule Lake internees protested in the face of threatened violence and deportation. Many renounced their U.S. citizenship, while others staged organized actions in full view of gun-toting soldiers.
Watch “Resistance at Tule Lake” for free until May 21 via PBS.