Marching Towards Dignity for All


Barbecues, beer coolers, and 3-day weekends. Memorial Day festivities announce summer’s imminent arrival. Various cities have claimed responsibility for the inception of the celebration. Gettysburg (PA), Charlottesvillle (S.C.), and Jackson (MS), all hosted observances to honor fallen soldiers well before 1868, the year the official proclamation was championed by General John Logan. The precedent may be in dispute, but everyone agrees on the purpose: Memorial Day honors the million-plus American soldiers who have died in war. Some volunteered, some were conscripted, all made the ultimate sacrifice. This month’s list includes films that remind us of combat’s many casualties.

Because Memorial Day comes on the heels of Asian American Pacific Islander Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, this list also includes films exploring the domestic cost of foreign wars.

No doubt this eclectic collection will strike some readers as an odd menagerie of memorializations. If we were to offer you one theme to tie it all together: The history of America is the history of our collective march toward dignity for all.

Dear Sirs
by Carrie McCarthy and Mark Pedri, 2022, 56 mins

After finding an archive of photos, letters, and documents detailing his grandfather’s untold journey as a Prisoner of War in World War II, filmmaker Mark Pedri bikes across Europe to tell his grandfather’s story and better understand the man who raised him.

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Love After War
by Mitchell Tepper, 2021, 57 mins

Love After War delves deep into the intimate lives of injured veterans and their romantic partners. It is a story of coming home and sexual healing. The accounts illustrate how each faces the challenges of disability and musters up the courage beyond what was needed for war to restore connection.

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Almost Sunrise
by Marty Syjuco and Michael Collins, 2017, 98 mins

In this Emmy nominated documentary, two friends embark on an epic 2,700-mile trek on foot across America seeking redemption and healing, in an attempt to put their haunting combat experiences behind them. Almost Sunrise is an intimate, vérité film that eschews stereotypes, and instead, captures an unprecedented portrait of veterans - one of hope, potential and untold possibilities.

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Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066
by Jon Osaki, 2019, 65 mins

Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 tells the untold story of false information and political influences which led to the World War ll incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film also examines the parallels to the targeting of groups today and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.

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Double Solitaire
by Corey Ohana, 1998, 20 mins

In Double Solitaire, the filmmaker uses the motif of games to tell the story of her Japanese-American father and uncle’s incarceration as children in an internment camp during WWII, and the legacy of that experience up to the present day, including the effect of Redress and Reparations.

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Monkey Dance
by Julie Mallozzi, 2004, 64 mins

Three Cambodian-American teenagers come of age in a world shadowed by their parents' Khmer Rouge nightmares. Traditional Cambodian dance links them to their parents’ culture, but fast cars, hip consumerism, and new romance pull harder. The three teens gradually come to appreciate their parents’ sacrifices and make good on their parents’ dreams.

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