July 20, 2015

Media Availability – Filmmaker Jan Thompson

Reporters, photographers and news crews are invited to a media availability from 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, with Jan Thompson, a professor in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media. 

Thompson, whose work includes a two-hour documentary on Americans held as Japanese prisoners of war during World War II, was present in Los Angeles on Sunday when Mitsubishi Materials Corp. executives apologized for using American POWs as forced labor in company mines during the war. The public apology is believed to be the first by a Japanese corporation for wartime atrocities. The formal apology to a 94-year-old former American POW was at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance. 

The media availability will be in the Communications Building, Dean’s Conference Room 1032. For more information, contact Thompson at 618/521-3654. 

Thompson’s 2013 documentary, “Never The Same: The Prisoner of War Experience,” documented how prisoners used ingenuity, creativity and humor to survive. Thompson’s late father was a POW after his capture on Corregidor in the spring of 1942. The project and work on behalf of POWs has been a focal point of Thompson’s work for the past 24 years. 

Thompson highlighted the horrors of the Bataan Death March in an award-winning 2011 documentary, “The Tragedy of Bataan,” featuring the vocal talents of actor Alec Baldwin. A five-piece radio series that also chronicled the march aired on PBS.