Eight ethnically diverse students from Torrance, California, bring history to life as they research Technical Sergeant Ted Tanouye, a graduate of their school who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in World War II. Through their research of Citizen Tanouye, the students not only discover the impact the war had on their city, but also draw attention to the civil rights abuses of WWII-era America.
A popular, well-rounded student, Tanouye graduated from Torrance High School in 1938, and made a name for himself in the local community. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he went to serve his country as a member of the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team, while his family had to pack up their lives to be moved to a relocation center—the internment camps for the Japanese Americans.
During their investigation of school yearbooks, newspapers, museums, internet sites and insightful conversations with WWII veterans, the relevance of history is brought into focus as the students express their personal observations, draw parallels to their own lives and realize the effect that this experience will have on their future.
Citizen Tanouye was named Best Feature Documentary by the 2005 International Family Film Festival and received the Chris Award from the 2005 Columbus International Film & Video Festival. It also earned Audience Awards from the 2005 San Diego International Children’s Film Festival, the 2005 Zion Independent Film Festival and 2006 Gloria Film Festival as well as the Accolade award (2006) and a Telly Statuette (2007).
58 minutes, includes special DVD features