Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wings of Defeat

Rachel brought this DVD home to watch tonight for homework or more accurately, as a make up for the IB history class she missed last Monday when we were in Chicago.

A documentary done by a Japanese American born in New York whose uncle was a Kamikaze pilot who survived World War II, Wings of Defeat is a thoughtful, almost peaceful dissection of the oft-misunderstood and demonized Tokkotai which is what the Kamikazes called themselves.  The film features former Japanese pilots telling their stories of becoming Tokkotai, fighting as Tokkotai and most surprisingly, especially to themselves, surviving the war.  Also included are interviews with survivors of the USS Drexler, a destroyer sunk by a Kamikaze attack.

In English and Japanese with English subtitles depending on who's being interviewed, Wings of Defeat puts a sympathetic human face on young boys who were simply doing their duty as they understood it, even after they understood the futility of it.

No comments: