(San Francisco, CA)—In the year following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Empire of Japan grew bolder in its offensive against the U.S. and invaded the remote Aleutian island of Attu in preparation for a larger invasion into Canada and the lower 48 states. Although Attu was the only American territory to be held by a foreign nation since the War of 1812, the American public was not informed of this transgression in fear that widespread panic would ensue. Nearly 4,000 soldiers would die in the American campaign to take the island of Attu back. RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE, which recounts the story of two soldiers who journey back to Attu to come to grips with what happened during of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, will air nationally on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Terrence Howard, on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 10pm (check local listings).
Bill Jones and Andy Petrus are the two toughest 85-year-olds you've ever met. Together, these life-long friends fought 3,000 Japanese in a secret Alaskan invasion during World War II. Now, 60 years later, these two forgotten heroes embark on an intense and emotional journey back to the remote Aleutian island of Attu, where they relive the brutal 19-day battle that the American government kept secret. As Bill and Andy retrace their steps over this desolate, untouched battlefield—a living museum littered with crashed airplanes, collapsing buildings, and unexploded bombs—the line between past and present begins to blur and long-forgotten memories resurface with moving force.
RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE isn’t just the story of one battle—it is the story of every soldier who ever faced an enemy he didn’t understand and returned home with scars that are slow to heal. Through their eyes, we experience the complicated, and sometimes contradictory, mindset of a nation at war and what it really means to be an American hero. To learn more about the film and the issues, visit the RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE companion website (pbs.org/independentlens/redwhiteblackandblue/) which features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker, and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.
About the Filmmaker
Tom Putnam (director/producer) was recently named "One of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film" by Filmmaker Magazine. His previous short films include Broadcast 23 (Sundance 2005) and Tom Hits His Head (Slamdance 2003). He was also a recipient of the Independent Feature Project's 2004 Fast Track Award.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. Further information about the series is available at pbs.org/independentlens.
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