An entirely Wyoming-created and produced documentary, “Heart Mountain: An All American Town”, will debut on December 6th at 7 pm on Wyoming PBS.
Writer and co-producer Raechel Donahue says she wanted to share the little-known story of the Japanese children held in the WWII internment camp between Powell and Cody from September 1942 to November 1945.
Inspired by the events at Pearl Harbor, almost 14,000 Asian Americans, some second and third generation, were brought by train from the West Coast and detained at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center.
With a population of nearly 11,000 in 1943, the camp was Wyoming's third largest town and was one of the state's only areas at the time to have full electricity.
Donahue worked with co-producer and author Garrett Lindemann and interviewed the now-80-year-old internees in making the film. Lindemann tells us why the air-date of the film is significant.
Donahue's film company is Big Stagecoach Production, and their first film was “Drawn to Yellowstone” - the story of how art was used to persuade Congress to make Yellowstone the world's first national park.
The company has a goal of starting a Wyoming-based film company that creates documentaries using as much as possible in-state talent, services and funds.
"Drawn to Yellowstone" was the first documentary produced in Wyoming to reach National PBS. "Heart Mountain: An All-American Town" will also air on National PBS and on Armed Forces Network in 175 countries and territories.
Donahue said the company would like to do their next film on Buffalo Bill Cody.