Released in Japan on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, OKINAWA: THE AFTERBURN is the first documentary to provide a comprehensive look at the battle and the ensuing 70-year occupation of Okinawa by the United States military. On April 1, 1945, American troops landed on Okinawa, beginning a battle that lasted 12 weeks and claimed the lives of some 240,000 people. The film depicts the Battle through the eyes of Japanese and American soldiers who fought each other on the same battlefields, along with Okinawa civilians who were swept up in the fighting, with carefully selected footage from the U.S. National Archives.
The film also conveys the complex postwar fate of Okinawa, an island that has had to live side-by-side with an extensive array of US bases, and the related crimes, accidents, and pollution they have caused, while coexisting, on a personal level, with the occupying soldiers.
In Okinawa, the legacy of the war translates into a deeply rooted aversion to military force. This has been expressed in recent years by the island-wide rejection of the plan to build a new US base at Henoko, a source of controversy to this day. Okinawa: The Afterburn explores the roots of this resistance and Okinawa's vision for the future.
If you are a student or a professor:Watch now
If you are a librarian or a professor: