Film poster for "And Then They Came For Us" with mother and son at train station in black and white
Film poster for "And Then They Came For Us" with mother and son at train station in black and white
Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the demise of civil liberties


Regular price $349.00


​HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online | SILVER GAVEL AWARD - American Bar Association | "Moving" - Booklist

American History • Asian American Studies • Civil & Human Rights • Sociology • Photojournalism

Date of Completion: 2017 | Run Time: 51 minutes | Language: English | Captions: Yes Includes: Transcript, Study Guide & Screening Guide | Directors: Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider | Producer: Abby Ginzberg

AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US is a cautionary and inspiring tale for all societies. In 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, paving the way for the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. The film educates audiences about the constitutional damage done in the name of national security due to war hysteria and racism. Featuring actor George Takei and others who were incarcerated, rediscovered photos of Dorothea Lange and the story of Fred Korematsu’s long journey to justice, the film brings history into the present, as it follows Japanese Americans speaking out against the current Muslim travel ban and other regressive immigration policies.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Jennifer Dean, Film Editor, Filmmaker, Film Curator
"And They Came for Us is an invaluable tool for teaching about the ethical and legal ramifications of incarcerating citizens without due process strictly based on race; the power of documentation and how images are taken and interpreted; and the history of Japanese Internment Camps in the United States. It also provides a foundation for the genesis of a larger discussion about the demonization of the other and importance of safe guarding civil rights now and in the future."

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Sheila Intner, Professor Emerita, Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College GSLIS at Mt. Holyoke
"This is one of the best documentaries this reviewer has seen, well-edited, well-paced, and forcefully presented, combining live action and archival footage seamlessly woven into a compelling whole."

Library Journal
"This affecting documentary focuses on a shameful moment in American history: the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Featuring interviews with numerous people forced to leave everything behind, including actor George Takei, their personal stories include vivid details of their lives before, during, and after the war. Rediscovered images by the famed photographer Dorothea Lange help give historical perspective and bring to life the trauma and squalid living conditions in the camps. Written, produced, and co-directed by Abby Ginzberg, And Then They Came For Us makes the case that if this could happen to American citizens in 1942, it could happen again. A terrifying thought indeed."

Seattle University School of Law | Lorraine K. Bannai, Director of Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and Author of Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice
"This moving film powerfully conveys the story of the mass removal and incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry­ during World War II and its haunting continued relevance today. Through the voices of survivors of the camps and poignant contemporary photos, the film helps us understand the human experience of the round-up and imprisonment – not only the confusion, anger, and sense of betrayal felt by those imprisoned, but also their strength and resilience. It also tells how, 40 years later, the community sought and won recognition of the wrong through the redress movement in Congress and coram nobis proceedings in court. And, importantly, it underscores the ways in which the incarceration remains relevant today when the country continues to target communities based on race, national origin, and religion in the name of national security. This remarkable film compels its audiences to understand that the quest for justice is constant and a quest in which every person must participate."

Booklist Online | Candace Smith
"This moving program, which draws parallels between this act and currently proposed immigration restrictions, is a reminder of how easily entire populations can be condemned."

UC Santa Cruz Scott Rappaport
"Featuring rediscovered photographs by Dorothea Lange, And Then They Came For Us connects history with the present, by retelling this story and then showing Japanese American activists speaking out today against a Muslim registry and travel ban."

Stir | Gail Johnson, Co-Founder and Editorial Director
"And Then They Came for Us takes viewers from one troubling chapter in U.S. history to another. It touches on anti-Muslim sentiment set off by 9/11 and Donald Trump’s 2015 call for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. Takei led the response among everyday people to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, to protest the Muslim registry, with Japanese-Americans right by their fellow countrypeople’s sides. Set to an original score by composer Tatsu Aoki, And Then They Came for Us reminds that never again means now."

Download the Study Guide

Download the Screening Guide

Abby Ginzberg, a Peabody award-winning director, has been producing compelling documentaries about race and social justice for over 30 years. Her Peabody-winning film SOFT VENGEANCE is the story of Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US is about the connection between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WW II and the current Muslim travel ban, won a Silver Gavel Award and has played in major cities and film festivals across the country. She co-produced and co-directed Agents of Change (2016; with Frank Dawson), about the 1960’s struggle for black and ethnic studies on college campuses, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival where it won the Jury and the Audience Awards for Best Feature Documentary, and was broadcast on America Reframed. She has presented her films on college campuses across the country, including Yale, Harvard, Cornell, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, University of Oregon, University of Richmond, Georgia State, and University of Chicago. Abby holds a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Hastings College of the Law.

Satsuki Ina, Ph.D., was born in the Tule Lake concentration camp during WWII. She is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento and currently has a psychotherapy private practice in Berkeley, California where she specializes in the treatment of community-based, historical trauma. She has produced two documentary films on the subject of the Japanese American incarceration, Children of the Camps and From A Silk Cocoon. Her soon to be released book, The Poet and the Silk Girl: Love & Protest in an American Concentration Camp is based on letters written between her parents while held in two separate prison camps during WWII.