What if what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II happened again today to Muslim and Arab Americans? The feature film Executive Order 13800, written and directed by Mustafa Zeno, imagines such a scenario under President Donald Trump. It's happened before. Amidst the current political climate and actual discussion of a so-called Muslim "registry," it's looking more and more like it could happen again.
Executive Order 13800 is a drama following a Muslim American family after the U.S. experiences a 9/11-type terrorist attack. Following this national tragedy, President Trump issues Executive Order 13800, requiring all Muslim Americans to pack up their things and report to government site. Over the course of two weeks, the family's world turns upside down as they lose their civil rights and face an uncertain future.
The film is currently raising production funds through Indiegogo.
Mustafa and writer/producer Koji Steven Sakai have actually been working on Executive Order 13800 for the past year, but almost abandoned the project because the concept seemed a little too far fetched. But after the sobering results of the presidential election, their priorities changed immediately.
"Koji and I were working on this project a year ago, and we didn't think this was a realistic scenario," Mustafa says. "But the day after Trump was elected, we both knew we had to do this project and do it now."
"This is the most important project I've ever worked on," says Sakai, whose family was wrongly incarcerated during World War II. "I just wish that when my elementary aged father was put into a 'camp,' there was someone like me telling their story and putting a face to go with all the toxic rhetoric."
Executive Order 13800 aims to be a cautionary tale that will serve as a reminder of what happened 75 years ago, in order to also ensure that it doesn't happen again to anyone else.
"Instead of worrying history will repeat itself, we decided to do what we felt we could about it," says producer Phinny Kiyomura. "We believe this is an opportunity to remind the rest of the country of mistakes we as a country should not make under any administration."
Their goal is to raise $50,000 to shoot and market the film.
This is an important and timely film, and they could use your help getting it made. For further information about Executive Order 13800, and to make a donation to the project, head over to Indiegogo.