Honor & Sacrifice
On April 12th, we received the 2014 Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history. You can read more on HONOR & SACRIFICE’s own website that includes news, screenings, reviews, press material, photos, history, and a free downloadable teaching curriculum. You can see it by clicking here.
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HONOR & SACRIFICE tells the complex story of a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by WWII. The Matsumoto family included five sons; two who fought for the Americans and three who fought for the Japanese. The eldest, Hiroshi (Roy), became a hero, fighting against the Japanese with Merrill’s Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma. He was born near Los Angeles, educated in Japan, and became a hero when he used his Japanese language skills and military training to save his surrounded, starving battalion deep in the Burmese jungle. At the same time his parents and sisters were living in their family’s ancestral home, Hiroshima. The story is told by Roy’s daughter Karen as she discovers her father’s work in military intelligence, kept secret for 50 years.
(Running time – 28 minutes)
“Filmmakers Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers’ powerful documentary tells the story of Roy Matsumoto, one of many Japanese Americans who enlisted in the U.S. military while detained in internment camps during World War II….Decorated for heroism, Matsumoto was eventually sent to postwar Japan, where he found relatives still alive in Hiroshima despite the nuclear bomb attack that had devastated the city. Interweaving archival footage and family photographs to illustrate this compelling story, along with an interview of the elderly Matsumoto, Honor & Sacrifice underscores the many internal conflicts and ironies experienced by Japanese-American enlistees, from having to prove their loyalty while confined within the U.S. to fighting an enemy that often (as in Matsumoto’s case) literally included one’s brothers from the old country. Highly recommended.”
3.5 Stars - Video Librarian