In Wings of Defeat, six American Navy veterans are interviewed about their experiences surviving the Kamikaze attacks which instantly sank their ship in May, 1945. After viewing the completed film, in which former Kamikaze reveal that instead of being fanatical volunteers, they were ordered to die by their military, two of the veterans, Fred Mitchell and Gene Brick ask to meet with their former enemies. Each man has his reason. Fred Mitchell wants to try to shed the hatred he has harbored for the Japanese who sank his ship and killed his friends. Sixty years later he still suffers from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and hopes that meeting former Kamikaze face to face will help ease the burden of his nightmarish memories. Gene Brick simply wants to ask the Japanese veterans why the Kamikaze had been so eager to kill themselves crashing into enemy ships.

In August, 2007, the filmmakers travel to Japan with Fred and Gene, introducing them to three former Kamikaze, filming their historic, emotional encounters. Overcoming their respective anxieties, the American and Japanese veterans, now in their 80s, sit down to ask each other tough questions, resulting in unexpected intimacy and new-found mutual respect. As the former enemies laugh and cry together in Wings of Defeat: Another Journey, we witness genuine and transformative reconciliation. [39 min]

Cinematographer Maya Stark | Composers Masaki Yamagata Temesgen Wubneh
Sound Design Tom Lino | Producers Risa Morimoto Linda Hoaglund | Editor/Director Maya Stark