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Presidio Live - Film + Dialogue - 'The Ito Sisters: An American Story'

Thursday, Mar 15, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM At Presidio Officers' Club Offered by:

Presidio Trust

PRESIDIO LIVE – Thursday Evenings at 7 pm

In Presidio Live, experience live music, theatre, dance, film, and dialogues that offer a contemporary take on the history and nature of the Presidio and the culture of our diverse Bay Area community.

THE ITO SISTERS: AN AMERICAN STORY captures the rarely told stories of the earliest Japanese immigrants to the United States and their American-born children. In particular, the film focuses on the experiences of Issei (or immigrant) and Nisei (or first generation born in the United States) women, whose voices have largely been excluded from American history.

At the heart of the film are three Nisei sisters: Natsuye (Nancy), Haruye (Lillian) and Hideko (Hedy), who were born on a farm in the Sacramento River Delta and whose lives were directly impacted by some of the most significant events of 20th-century America, from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake to the Great Depression to World War II. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including filmmaker Antonia Grace Glenn. Presented in association with the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and in conjunction with the EXCLUSION Exhibition.

The film also explores the lives of the women's parents, Yetsusaburo and Toku Ito, who originally planned to stay only temporarily in the United States and to work and save money before returning to Japan, but whose plans were repeatedly thwarted. The family’s chronicle is set against the backdrop of the Anti-Japanese Movement in California, a 60-year campaign by politicians, journalists, landowners, labor leaders and others that culminated in the evacuation and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II. 

THE ITO SISTERS is written, directed and produced by Antonia Grace Glenn and edited and produced by Gregory Pacificar, and features historical and sociopolitical commentary from prominent scholars such as Evelyn Nakano Glenn (UC Berkeley), Dorinne Kondo (USC), Michael Omi (UC Berkeley) and Jere Takahashi (UC Berkeley).


Antonia Grace Glenn (Director, Writer & Producer)

An actor, writer, producer, filmmaker and scholar, Glenn has published articles in Contemporary Theatre Review, LA Alternative Press and TheatreForum.  Her stage credits include the world premiere of Michael John Garcés’ Los Illegals at Cornerstone Theater Company and the collaborative ensemble process for Alice Tuan’s interview-based play Black Flight for Watts Village Theater Company.  Glenn has extensive experience in arts administration and fundraising; in addition to co-founding and serving as Artistic Director for Troy Rep Theatre Company in Hollywood, she has worked with San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre Company, the KCETLink public media organization and Idyllwild Arts Foundation.  She holds a PhD in Theatre & Drama from a joint program at the University of California, San Diego and Irvine; an MFA in Acting from USC; and a BA from Wellesley College.

Evelyn Nakano Glenn (Lead Content Advisor)

Glenn is one of the country’s leading sociologists, and her scholarship on the intersectionality of race, gender, citizenship and labor is groundbreaking. She is a Professor of the Graduate School and was the Founding Director of the Center for Race & Gender at the University of California, Berkeley.  In 2009-10, she served as President of the American Sociological Association. Her books include FORCED TO CARE: COERCION AND CAREGIVING IN AMERICA; UNEQUAL FREEDOM: HOW RACE AND GENDER SHAPED AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP AND LABOR; and ISSEI, NISEI, WARBRIDE: THREE GENERATIONS OF JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMEN IN DOMESTIC SERVICE. Honors include an Asian American Local Heroes Award from KQED and Union Bank, and the Nikkei of the Biennium Award for Contributions to Education from the Japanese American Citizens League. Glenn holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a PhD from Harvard University.

Credits – all photos: Courtesy of Antonia Grace Glenn

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