A film project about Muslim Americans being sent to camps that was abandoned a year ago because it seemed “too far-fetched” is getting a new start.
“Executive Order 13800” is inspired by the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and which seeks to tell the story of what would happen if Muslim Americans were incarcerated in the same way today.
“As descendants of people who were in internment camps, I always tell my son that we have a moral responsibility to make sure that it never happens to anyone else ever again,” writer and producer Koji Steven Sakai, who is also a former executive at the Japanese American National Museum, told NBC News. “‘Executive Order 13800’ is my opportunity to remind my country what happened 75 years ago to ensure we don't make the same mistake with another marginalized community."
“Executive Order 13800” is set after a major 9/11-type terrorist attack, according to the filmmakers. In the film, President Donald Trump issues Executive Order 13800, which gives Muslim Americans two weeks to report to a government site to register, mirroring President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066.
“As descendants of people who were in internment camps, I always tell my son that we have a moral responsibility to make sure that it never happens to anyone else ever again.”
The film follows one Arab-American family as they lose their civil rights and become subject to an evening curfew, not being allowed to gather or pray together, not being able to express their faith publicly, and constant threats of violence.
Sakai has written and produced three feature films: “The People I’ve Slept With” (2009), “#1 Serial Killer” (2013), and “Dying to Kill” (2015). He is joined on this project by writer, director, and cultural anthropologist Mustafa Rony Zeno and producer and playwright Phinny Kiyomura. The team just launched a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign to shoot the film. The film is expected to be completed by the middle of 2017.