What if what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II happened again today to Muslim and Arab Americans?
Executive Order 13800 asks the question: what if America interned Muslim and Arab Americans like they did to Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor? The film follows a Muslim American family post a few 9/11 type events. Following these national tragedies, President Trump issues Executive Order 13800, giving the family—and all Muslim and Arab Americans—two weeks to pack up their things and report to a government office. The film focuses on these two weeks as they begin to lose their civil rights and face an uncertain future.
Writer/Director Mustafa Rony Zeno commented, “Koji and I were working on this project a year ago, and we didn’t think this was a realistic scenario. But the day after Trump was elected, we both knew we had to do this project and do it now.” Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai, a descendant of a Japanese American wrongly incarcerated in the Second World War, said, “This is the most important project I’ve ever worked on. I just wish that when my elementary aged father was put into a “camp,” there was someone like me telling their story and putting a face to go with all the toxic rhetoric.” Producer Phinny Kiyomura, also a descendant of a Japanese American incarcerated during WWII, agrees with Sakai, “The rhetoric is toxic and it would be a tragedy if America took the wrong path once again.” All three agree this project is a cautionary tale that will serve as a reminder of what happened almost seventy-five years ago to make sure it doesn’t happen again today to anyone. Kiyomura argues, “Instead of worrying history will repeat itself, we decided to do what we felt we could about it. We believe this is an opportunity to remind the rest of the country of mistakes we as a country should not make under any administration.”
For more information about this project, click here.