Beyond the Sun was the version one name of Risa Morimoto's feature documentary Wings of Defeat. I cut that documentary about two years ago while I was still living in NYC and it was after I'd left NY that the director and producer decided to rethink the project and started over from scratch. Wings of Defeat is that new version and I am now listed in the credits as 'Associate Editor'. The documentary has received overwhelmingly positive reviews around the world and has already enjoyed a 23-city theatrical run in Japan and is now available there on DVD. (I wrote about that previously on this blog.)
I feel that Wings of Defeat -- which focuses on the Tokkotai (special attack forces, of which the Kamikaze pilots were but one iteration) and the reality and duress surrounding the use of suicide attacks during WWII -- is of particular interest given the recent controversy surrounding the Li Ying's Yasukuni documentary. The key difference here is that Wings of Defeat features first person interviews with the actual pilots and victims and is a film about understanding what this war did to the young men in Japan and the US who fought in it. In addition there's an effort by the filmmakers to create a cross cultural understanding between the Japanese and the US as witnessed by their recent US education tours wherein they've brought the US victims of Kamikaze attacks and some surviving Japanese pilots to speak at US high schools. NPR (National Public Radio) covered this the other week, in an interesting piece. (Here.)
At any rate, if you live in Los Angeles you can check Wings of Defeat out tomorrow May 4th, noon, at the Laemmle's Sunset 5 where it is playing as part of the Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Screening info here.
More about the documentary and the high school educational tour that has been created in the US to create greater awareness of the issues discussed in the film, here. (From the Japanese Embassy in the US homepage.)
Edgewood Pictures homepage.