In honor of the upcoming Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, local PBS broadcaster KVIE is hosting a community screening of “The Ito Sisters: An American Story,” which follows the lives of three Japanese women’s lives in the 20th century.
The film – a winner in the Berkeley Video Film Festival in 2017 – focuses on Natsuye, Haruye and Hideko, three sisters who were born to Japanese immigrants on a farm near the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The sisters are touched by some of the most important historical events of the century, including the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the Great Depression and World War II, which resulted in the internment of thousands of U.S. citizens amid heightened anti-Japanese sentiment.
“The Ito Sisters: An American Story” is told through retrospective interviews with the three women along with historical archival research and is illustrated by artwork and family photos.
Professors from UC Berkeley and elsewhere also make appearances to provide insight into the issues as the film explores discrimination, immigration and what it means to be American.
“Today, it is not widely known that there were segregated schools in Sacramento County to separate white and Asian children; or the crucial role that Asian laborers played in establishing California’s agricultural wealth; or that arranged marriages were regularly practiced by Japanese Americans in California,” producer and director Antonia Grace Glenn said. “The film also is unique in that it gives voice to the stories of early Japanese American women, and their experiences with agricultural labor, domestic work and raising families under challenging circumstances.”
If you go
Where: KVIE public television at 2030 West El Camino Avenue, Sacramento
When: Tuesday April 23, 2019 at 6:15 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
“The Ito Sisters: An American Story” will be broadcast on Channel 6 on May 1, 2019 at 7 p.m.