The parking lot was jammed packed, bumper to bumper. The movie ticket lines outside of Dole Theater resembled those of theme parks and the DMV; they were huge! Extra security were guarding the gates and additional volunteers were needed to control the movie doors.
This was over the excitement of the first ever film premiere of Go for Broke. The closing film of the first leg of the 2017 Hawaii International Film Festival.
The film, set in the year after the Japanese attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, had a fantastic turn out for its first premiere in Oahu, attracting locals of all ages, origins and interests. The profound history surrounding that date has not been forgotten and it was obvious by the mass attendance.
Based on true events, the story follows several university Japanese-A
merican (JA) boys who worked to create the Varsity Victory Volunteers, or VVV after being denied rights of being in the military following the Pearl Harbor attack. After a year of surrendering their arms, the president approved of the boys’ perseverance and allowed for the creation of the 442nd military unit, entirely comprised of Japanese-Americans.
The locally produced film mentions several well-known areas in which were affected by bombings that completely shocked the theater. A Japanese bomb came down on the corner of McCully and King street… two blocks from my house.
At this moment, it finally sank in:
This moment in history was not that long ago. The impact of wartime prejudice is still present in some ways.
Go for Broke displays the prejudice the Japanese-American residents of Hawaii endured during this era of Hawaii’s history. Several community leaders and influential people were arrested out of their homes, taken from their families, and some were even shipped off to the mainland for the fear of being the enemy.
However it was the perseverance of the Varsity Victory Volunteers as well as the 100th Infantry Battalion who truly demonstrated the loyalty of the JA’s at this time in war, exemplifying the meanings of character and patriotism.
Go for Broke tells the untold story of the importance of the VVV and 100th Infantry Battalion in the overall victory of the United States in the second World War.