The BIFF 2012 Power Of Film AWARD
Country: USA, Philippines, China
Runtime: 93 minutes
Director: Donald Plata
Producer: Donald Plata
Three months into World War II, the President of the United States ordered General Douglas MacArthur to leave 80,000 men behind on Bataan, and escape to Australia. Those soldiers faced one of the worst atrocities in military history – the Bataan Death March. In Forgotten Soldiers, Hollywood actor Lou Diamond Phillips and ten Philippine Scout survivors tell the story of their gallant stand, their bitter surrender, and their ultimate triumph over the enemy.
General MacArthur’s army in the Far East included U.S. National Guard units from Wisconsin, Illinois, California, and New Mexico; ten divisions of newly recruited Philippine Army soldiers, and one U.S. Army infantry division–the Philippine Scouts.
The top brass in Washington promised to send reinforcements, planes, naval support and supplies…but months went by and the reinforcements never came.
The men held on for four months. As their supplies dwindled they went on half rations, then one-third rations. They grew weaker, victims of malaria, dysentery and other tropical diseases. After every other allied stronghold in the Pacific had fallen, their commanding officer finally succumbed to the Japanese onslaught rather than see any more of his men slaughtered.
As Prisoners of War the survivors of Bataan suffered even more. Thousands died on the Death March, thousands more in horrible Japanese prison camps.
In this stirring documentary movie, Bataan survivors describe the events over photographs, reenactments, actual footage of the Death March and shots taken inside the Japanese camps, much of the film captured from the Japanese at the end of the war. The Philippine Scouts were the backbone of General MacArthur’s forces, but few Americans today are even aware of this unique segment of the United States Army. They are America’s FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS.
Winner – Power Of Film Award