'Beyond the Barbed Wire' Documentary on Japanese internment during WWII screening Sept. 3 at Luther College

Forced into internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, approximately 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry had their lives uprooted. Following the end of the World War II in 1945, some of the displaced people relocated and restarted their lives in Minnesota. Luther College will feature "Beyond the Barbed Wire," a documentary focusing on those Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps and later traveled to Minnesota to start over, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, in Valders 262.

"Beyond the Barbed Wire" is an ongoing digital project produced by St. Olaf College. It focuses on the experience of Japanese Americans who were removed from their homes and sent to one of 10 internment camps, all in the western United States. Camp population peaked at about 107,000 by the end of 1943. As the war neared a conclusion, former internees were forced to decide whether to return to their homes on the West Coast or relocate. Many chose to establish a new residence, traveling to Minnesota to earn a college education or to serve in the military at the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling in St. Paul.

In 2015, a research team at St. Olaf interviewed individuals who had lived through the war and relocation process. The documentary film that resulted, "Beyond the Barbed Wire," was produced by Professor Ka Wong, along with students Paul Sullivan and Hikari Sugisaki, and premiered in spring 2017.

Following the Sept. 3 screening will be a question and answer session with Wong, Sullivan and Sugisaki. The event, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,000, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.