This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to watch Alternative Facts directed by Jon Osaki. I also had the opportunity to work on a scene within the film itself. Although the scene I helped work on was only in the film for half a minute, there was still a sense of pride knowing I had contributed. Regardless of whether or not I worked on the film, it was still an incredible and moving documentary.
Alternative Facts goes over the events that followed after World War II, when families and communities were seen as enemies and against the U.S. government. Lack of evidence was sufficient enough to be evidence in itself in order to call in the executive Order 9066. Order 9066 was the call that all Japanese Americans were to be sent to internment camps. The last internment camp did not close until 1945.
The film itself was a masterpiece on its own, but getting the chance to work on it opened a door of possible topics to speak about. I helped work on the audio in a scene where a group of students sat together and had a conversation about Order 9066. I realized how little the internment camps were, and still are, talked about in schools today. I was lucky enough to have learned the camp’s impact back when I was in the fourth grade, which is honestly a heavy subject to talk about with nine and ten year olds. My teacher, who was married to a man whose family had to be subjected to the camps, saw the importance of teaching this crucial part of history to her students.
There’s a saying I learned recently: “In order to understand our present, we must look at our past”. Osaki was able to connect what had happened with the internment camps with what is happening now: the separation and detaining of families that have crossed the border. Both are controversial subjects that nearly no one wants to speak out against. Osaki even mentioned it himself, when he was trying to get money for this project, no one wanted to touch on it. We need more stories like Alternative Facts! These stories and others like it are significant to help with future decisions and bills, but often times history is ignored. Alternative Facts was a real and raw documentary that resonates with many individual’s stories and honestly brought me to tears- just a little bit.