Some writers choose fiction. Others, nonfictions. Others do ad copy, scripts or humor. Another kind of writer does documentaries, working with words, sound and image to create compelling films. Risa Morimoto is one of these writers. Her award-winning Wings of Defeat chronicles the story of kamikaze pilots during WWII.
Filming this documentary, Risa interviewed several survivors of kamikaze attacks. This included Fred Mitchell and Gene Brick, two sailors on the USS Drexler — a destroyer sunk by kamikaze on picket duty between mainland Japan and Okinawa.
By an amazing set of circumstances, Fred and Gene were invited to Japan to take part in the events surrounding the release of Wings of Defeat. They met with survivors of the kamikaze corps, drank sake and visited several cities. It’s a story of forgiveness and peacemaking that can literally bring a tear to my eye. Here’s a snippet of Another Journey, Risa’s documentary of that part of the story.
If I’d written this story, it would have been rejected as too unrealistic. As a side note, Gene Brick is my grandfather. I’m rather proud of him for having the courage and kindness to do this.
Thanks for listening.