BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE
Film Poster for "BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE". A black and white image of Japanese American playing baseball behind barbed wire with a red transparent square that included the title with laurels.
BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE
Film Poster for "BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE". A black and white image of Japanese American playing baseball behind barbed wire with a red transparent square that included the title with laurels.
Stripped of their constitutional rights, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into desolate camps, surrounded by guard towers and barbed wire. Ironically it was the All-American pastime of baseball that saved their sanity.

BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - United Nations Association Film Festival | WORLD PREMIERE - Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival | Screened at National Baseball Hall of Fame

Japanese American Endurance & Perseverance • Baseball • Internment Camps • World War II • Animation •  Archival

Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 34 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Writer/Director: Yuriko Gamo Romer Producers: Yuriko Gamo Romer, Marc Smolowitz & Loi Ameera Almeron | Archival Producer: Loi Ameera Almeron | Editor & Co-Writer: Shirley Thompson | Director of Cinematography: Andrew Black | Consulting Producer: Abby Ginzberg 

BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE rhythmically paints the story of Japanese American incarceration during World War II through the lens of baseball, America's beloved pastime, with interviews and art by former incarcerees, animation, and archival film and photos. Despite being stripped of civil rights and confined from 1942-45, Japanese Americans embraced baseball to assert their citizenship and loyalty amid guard towers and barbed wire. BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE centers on Arizona's Gila River Camp, vividly portraying key players Howard Zenimura and Tets Furukawa. Coach Kenichi Zenimura, known for playing with Babe Ruth, collaborated with Howard to build a diamond from stolen materials. This national pastime flourished in all ten camps, spanning California to Arkansas. Some camps had multiple fields and even thirty teams. In 1945, though liberated, Japanese Americans faced an uncertain "home." They rebuilt lives, embodying the Japanese spirit of "gaman" (endurance) and "gambaru" (to persevere). Throughout this arduous history, baseball remained an unwavering thread of resilience.

JapanBall | Carter Cromwell
"an excellent, enlightening short documentary"

AWARDS
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY |
United Nations Association Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM | Chandler International Film Festival

FESTIVALS
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (World Premiere)

SCREENINGS
National Baseball Hall of Fame

WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER OF BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH YURIKO GAMO ROMER

Yuriko Gamo Romer began her career as a Madwoman on Madison Avenue. She transitioned her films from seconds to minutes and longer and is now an award-winning director, producer, and editor of independent documentary films. She has just released her short documentary BASEBALL BEHIND BARBED WIRE about the WWII Japanese American incarceration told through the lens of baseball and is currently in post-production with the accompanying feature documentary Diamond Diplomacy, about US-Japan international relations through a shared love of baseball. Her previous feature, Mrs. Judo, was a biographical documentary about Keiko Fukuda (1913-2013), the first woman to attain a tenth-degree black belt in judo. Mrs. Judo traveled to more than 25 film festivals internationally and was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 International Festival of Sports Films in Moscow and broadcast nationally on PBS. Romer was born in Japan and immigrated to the United States as a young child. She is bilingual, bicultural, and has been deeply connected with art since early childhood. She holds an M.A. in documentary filmmaking from Stanford University, where she was a teaching fellow, a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholar, and received a Student Academy Award Gold.