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Okinawa: The Afterburn Film Screening and Discussion
November 10, 2016 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: Cemex Auditorium, Knight Management Center - Map Link
Free; no advance registration required
In 1945, the Japanese island of Okinawa was the site of the longest and bloodiest battle of World War II in the Pacific, lasting twelve weeks and claiming 240,000 lives. Still today, with thirty-two American bases, Okinawa remains a bastion of US military power in East Asia. After their island was burned to ashes, the Okinawan people developed a deep-seated aversion to war, but the island was fated to be the launching pad for American wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.
Acclaimed in Japan since its June 2015 release, Okinawa: The Afterburn is the first film to provide a comprehensive picture of the battle and the ensuing occupation of the island by the US military. This film depicts the story through the eyes of Japanese and American soldiers who fought each other on the same battlefields, along with Okinawan civilians who were swept up in the fighting. The film also depicts the history of military dominance and popular resistance from the postwar occupation (which lasted until 1972) through the present, and provides timely context for the current controversy over the construction of a new Marine Corps base on Okinawa. Okinawa: The Afterburn is a heartfelt plea for peace and an expression of deep respect for the unyielding spirit of the Okinawan people.
The film screening will be followed by a discussion with the director, Tokyo-based American filmmaker John Junkerman.
John Junkerman, Filmmaker
John Junkerman, a 1974 graduate of Stanford’s program in Japanese Language and Literature, has been making documentary films in Japan and the United States for more than thirty years. His previous films include the Academy Award nominatedHellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima and Japan’s Peace Constitution, which explores the global significance of Japan’s pacifist national charter. Okinawa: The Afterburn, received the Mainichi Film Award and the Best Documentary Award from Japan’s leading film journal, Kinema Junpo.