Every point in history has moments that can become a little fuzzy, distorted, misplaced, or even forgotten. I knew people of color fought in WWII only because my own grandpa fought in Normandy. As I grew older I learned not only Latinos played important roles in the winning of the war but Italians, African-Americans, Asians, Jews, and Native Americans.
What I didn't know where the specifics in the roles they played. Slowly I have been learning thanks to a fantastic array of books available because those who fought and witnessed shared their personal stories. Many of those stories were made into films so now we have two learning tools, aside from history books, that we can learn more about the people who bravely fought in WWII.
Windtalkers is that type of film where we learn the important role that Navajos played in the winning of the war. Everyone played a role in securing the freedoms from oppression during that time. From the children collecting metal scraps to the nurses and the mechanics to the men and women who flew the planes. But the role of the Navajo and other Native Americans seems to be almost forgotten or lost in the millions of others stories about the war.
The Japanese were gaining the high ground in the Pacific and one of the reasons was because they would figure out how to break our code over and over again. The U. S. government begins then to bring in Navajo in order to communicate vital information via radios. The Navajo have a strong oral tradition so the Navajo code talkers were taught specific codes within their own language. Native Navajo would even be confused by this specific use of the language.
In this film you follow the story of Joe Enders (Nicholas Cage) and Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach). Joe, an exhausted and haunted marine who is assigned to protect Ben. Ben is a Navajo who is taught the code within the Navajo language. As the story unfolds we watch a friendship and respect being formed between these two characters. People weren't as open minded about different cultures and religions as they are now so it was a challenge for the Navajo to be acclimated. The journey together is rough, violent, devastating, scary, and challenging but best of all we learn just a little bit more on what the Navajo did during WWII.
Have you seen this film? Do feel like there is so much more to learn about The Great War and WWII in particular?