Concept

Wings of Defeat

Summary
Wings of Defeat is a 2007 documentary feature film in which former Kamikaze pilots reveal they were not fanatics but were ordered to die by a desperate military. Wings of Defeat, broadcast on the PBS Independent Lens series in May 2009, was awarded the 2009 Erik Barnouw Award by the Organization of American Historians. In Japan, World War II Kamikaze are still revered as self-sacrificing heroes. Internationally, they remain a potent symbol of fanaticism. In astonishingly candid interviews, four former Kamikaze reveal that they were neither suicidal nor fanatical. The film reveals they were young men sentenced to death by a military that could not admit defeat. In heartbreaking testimony corroborated with rare archival footage, they tell us about their dramatic survival and their survivors’ guilt. This riveting, seamlessly edited film is an emotionally charged and timely exposé, probing the responsibilities that a government at war has to its people and its soldiers. Wings of Defeat f
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