American at Heart (film)

Title American at Heart
Date 1993
Director Paul Hara
Narrator Jerry Kay
Starring Don Kuwaye (interviewee); Gen. Mark W. Clark (interviewee); Colonel James M. Hanley (interviewee); Mike Tokunaga (interviewee); Dick Hayashi (interviewee); Spark Matsunaga (interviewee); Rudy Tokiwa (interviewee); Tom Kawaguchi (interviewee); Teruo Nobori (interviewee); Ben Tomashiro (sic) (interviewee); Colonel James Lovell (interviewee); Mits Fukuda (interviewee); Isreal Yost (interviewee); Sadao Okuhara (interviewee); Goro Sumida (interviewee); Daniel Inouye (interviewee); Harry Iwafuchi (interviewee); Dr. George Aki (interviewee); Chet Tanaka (interviewee); Tadao Beppu (interviewee); Captain Edwin Shorey (interviewee); Shig Doi (interviewee); Jack Wakamatsu (interviewee); Dr. Raymond Coulin (interviewee); Genelle Lemon (interviewee); Mrs. Hodding Carter (interviewee); Stan Nakamoto (interviewee); Tom Crouch (interviewee)
Cinematography Kyle Westover; Steve Lawler
Runtime 72 minutes

Film that tells the story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team through historical footage (including clips from the movie Go for Broke!), still photographs and interview with many Nisei veterans, their white commanders, and others tied to the story. American at Heart covers the origin of the units in Hawai'i and Washington, DC, basic training in Camps McCoy and Shelby, their experiences in combat in Europe, and their return to the Hawai'i and the continental U.S. after the war. The film also contrasts the experience of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i vs. those on the West Coast, outlining the mass forced removal and incarceration of the latter. Among those interviewed are General Mark Clark, the World War II commander of the Fifth Army and 15th Army Group in Europe, who discusses what he calls "the wrong decision" to send Japanese Americans to "concentration camps" and his attempts to convince General John DeWitt to rescind his decision to do so, as well as his glowing descriptions of the Nisei units in combat; Senators Spark Matsunaga and Daniel Inouye on their experiences as members of the 100th and 442nd respectively; and Shig Doi, who takes part in the rescue of the Lost Battalion, only to hear of "night riders" attacking his family upon their return to their farm in California. The film ends with scenes from the exhibition A More Perfect Union at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho