Film Reviews

Posted: Wed., Mar. 26, 2003, 7:10pm PT
S.F. Asian American

An Untold Triumph: The Story of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, U.S. Army

(Docu)

An ICT, Inc. production. Produced, directed, edited by Noel M. Izon.
Narrator: Lou Diamond Phillips
"An Untold Triumph" highlights a little remembered aspect of the United States' WW2 fighting efforts: Two Army regiments composed entirely of Filipino-Americans that were assembled by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to help reclaim the Philippines from Japanese invaders. Executed in a somewhat pedestrian pubcast style, Noel M. Izon's docu is nonetheless informative and should earn a long educational shelf life. PBS broadcast is skedded for later this spring.

Print screened at San Francisco Asian-American Fest commenced with two ponderous, self-congratulatory introductions, from former Hawaiian governor Ben Cayetano and actor Lou Diamond Phillips (who narrates body of pic). Nippon forces invaded the Philippines within hours of Pearl Harbor. Though chomping at the bit, Filipino-Americans weren't allowed to enlist until some months later. More than 7,000 composed the 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments, whose service would get them dubbed "the Greatest Generation" by the community at home. Archival materials with newly dubbed-in sound fx illustrate their participation in Allied efforts, climaxing in Manila's February 1945 liberation. Curiously, pic neglects to mention that residents who fought as guerrillas are still petitioning U.S. government for official recognition of their role.

Camera (color, video), Christopher Li; music, Charlie Barnett. Reviewed at San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival, March 10, 2003. Running time: 84 MIN.

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