ONCE WERE ENEMIES (2013)
Two parallel stories of Japanese and American WWII enemies play out on the island where they fought 60 years prior. They meet face-to-face for the first time and their adventures take them into the jungle where remnants of their fighting still remain untouched.
Survivors from the opposite sides of the Second World War revisit the site of a pitched battle fought in September 1944 at Peleliu, east of the Philippines and north of New Guinea. As Americans approached from the sea, Japanese soldiers lay in wait in caves and the jungle making this a particularly fierce fighting ground.
U.S. Tank Commander Lee Smith and Platoon Leader Bill Cumbaa return to the island of Peleliu to meet their former enemies, Tsuchida Kiyokazu and Shinji Karasumaru, 60 years after the battle. Now in their 80’s, they relive this tragic time sharing secrets and personal stories. Their journey takes them into the jungle where remnants of the fighting remain undisturbed. A shared painful past and the passing of time reveal that it is possible for each to embrace those who once were enemies.
Duration: 55 min
Producers: Eva Wunderman, Patti Poskitt
Director: Eva Wunderman
Director of Photography: Todd Craddock
Original Music: Hans-Erik Philip
Editor: Jane Morrison
Networks: SVT, KCTS9, SBS, NHK
Distributor: Off the Fence
Educational Distributor: Moving Images
Copyright: Wunderman Film Inc. 2013
GOLDEN SHEAF AWARD 2014 – Yorkton Film Festival
GOLD REMI AWARD 2014 – Worldfest Houston