Naoyuki Ikeda (left) and Toshiji Takeshima are featured in dramatizations of life at the Tule Lake Segregation Center in “We Said No! No!”

“We Said No! No!” is a story of civil disobedience set against the backdrop of World War II and the controversial incarceration of thousands of “disloyal” Japanese Americans in the most notorious of all the concentration camps, Tule Lake in Northern California. It was there that the Japanese Americans who refused to say “yes” to the infamous loyalty questionnaire were imprisoned and labeled the “No No’s.”

Filmmaker Brian Tadashi Maeda

“We Said No! No!” follows a group of dissidents deemed disloyal as they fight for their freedom, their dignity and their families in an America that had forsaken them. The film opens on Friday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. followed by Q&A with the director and cast members. The film runs until June 1 at the Laemmle Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. For showtimes and tickets, visit or call (310) 478-0401.

Director, producer, writer, and actor Brian Tadashi Maeda was born in Manzanar, a War Relocation Authority camp in California’s Owens Valley. He graduated from UCLA in cinematography has always wanted to show films from a Japanese American point of view. He was one of the first Asian Americans to be accepted into the Hollywood International Cinematographers Guild in the 1970s and started J-Town Pictures in 1990 to tell tumultuous and often untold stories about Asian Americans.

“The ‘No No’ people were the bravest of all the unjustly incarcerated,” said Maeda, whose films, including “Music Man of Manzanar” and “Buddha-Heads,” have won critical acclaim at festivals and been played nationally.

He is a founding member of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee, an ad hoc group composed of former incarcerees and concerned citizens who have been working together since 2010 and built a permanent memorial to honor the Americans of Japanese descent forcibly removed from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu and incarcerated at Manzanar for the duration of World War II.

For more information on the documentary, visit  

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