Saturday, April 3, 2010

戦争映画 - Only The Brave

Only The Brave is the story of the about the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team that fought for the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. This low budget feature was the admirable attempt to tell the story of the Japanese-Americans who at a time when their own country turned against them, they fought for their freedom and the respect of an ungrateful nation. This film spends a portion of the film leading up to the groups enlistment shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The majority of the film takes place in Europe in the unit's famous 1944 rescue of the Texas 141st. The film centers around the men who are mostly from Hawaii's Teritorial Home Guard and volunteers from Seattle. We see and hear very little from those forced into America's Concentration Camps like those at Manzanar. To me this is the films only major flaw aside from the slow pace of the european scenes. but all in all, I am glad someone honored this units memory who in defence against Nazi tyranny earned 21 Medals of Honor, 9,486 Purple Hearts, 588 Silver Stars, 5,200 Bronze Stars. Their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. Written, Directed, and Starred by Lane Nishikawa who plays "Jimmy Takata" and co stars Tamlyn Tomita of Come See the Paradise and Babylon 5 fame. This feature also stars Jason Scott Lee, Jeff Fahey, and Shogun Ki's favorite documentary host Mark Dacascos as Steve "Zaki" Senzaki. Also featured is the final heartfelt moments of Pat Morita filmed shortly before his death. I wouldn't say this film is the caliber of Otoko no tachi Yamato or Saving Private Ryan. But for a low budget feature it was a decent attempt to tell their story. I would have liked to have seen more of the prewar scenes which to me were more powerful than the combat scenes.

My only other two points of contention is I would have liked to have heard more Japanese spoken in the film than the Hawaiian slang used and I would have liked to have seen more of the lovely Tamlyn Tomita. And on that note please see the trailer of come see the Paradise But on a historical standpoint, I am glad that Lane Nishikawa felt passionate enough to tell their story.

This film is scheduled for a big screen presentation during this Sakura Matsuri 2010. To find out about showtimes please visit their website at, It is also available on Netflix and Amazon.

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