Education About Asia: Online Archives

Wings of Defeat

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PRODUCER/WRITER, LINDA HOAGLUND

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR, RISA MORIMOTO

DISTRIBUTED By EDGEWOOD PICTURES

DVD, 90 MINUTES COLOR/B/W, 2007

ENGLISH/JAPANESE W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Reviewed by Alejandro Echevarria

Wings of Defeat is a documentary that contains rare interviews with surviving kamikaze pilots, also known as the tokko or Tokkotai (Special Attack Forces). However, the film deals with much more than the kamikaze. Risa Morimoto, the director of the film, had an uncle in Japan who was a surviving tokko. Although she found this out after his death, she had many questions about his life. For many Americans, the kamikaze may be considered fanatical suicide bombers who did not value human life. yet, for Morimoto, this did not describe her uncle. The film explores the human side of the kamikaze through interviews, newsreels, photos, an animated sequence, documents, and voice-overs by Morimoto, as well as Japanese and American veterans.

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