ハワイ作品『Go For Broke』の記事が先週日曜日（１１／５）にホノルルスターアドバタイザー紙の一面に載りました。
Locally made movie tells story of 100th/442nd combat unit
For 16 years, throughout countless disappointments and setbacks, local filmmaker and author Stacey Hayashi went for broke to make the feature film “Go for Broke: An Origin Story,” taking for its title the motto of the valiant 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team that fought in Europe during World War II.
Famous for volunteering for the most dangerous, seemingly hopeless missions, the 100th/442nd were the most decorated units, for their size and length of service, in U.S. military history. Virtually all the 442nd’s soldiers were Japanese-American, and the 100th Battalion started out in Hawaii.
‘Go for Broke: An Origin Story’
>> When: 8 p.m. Nov. 12
>> Where: Dole Cannery Stadium 18
>> Tickets: $14 ($12 seniors, students and military)
>> Info: hiff.org, goforbrokemovie.com
>> Note: Tickets for the Hawaii Theatre screening at 7:30 p.m. are sold out; $10 standby tickets may be available at the box office.
“It’s really just an important story and deserves to be shared with the world,” Hayashi, 42, said in an email when asked why she persisted.
Hayashi gave the story all she had, ceaselessly fundraising, writing — and finally, over the past year — filming and editing “Go for Broke.”
The 90-minute feature film will close the Hawaii International Film Festival with two screenings Nov. 12, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Theatre and at 8 p.m. at Dole Cannery Stadium 18. “Go for Broke” will then be released online while Hayashi pursues theatrical releases in Hawaii and California.
The heroes of “Go for Broke” include not only the young men who went off to war, but the local people who helped them, in the face of widespread racial discrimination after the Pearl Harbor attack, get the chance to prove their loyalty by fighting for the United States.
Hayashi said she felt it was crucial to tell this pivotal Hawaii story for the first time in local voices and from local points of view. Filmed entirely in Hawaii on a paltry budget of $562,000 and with a mostly local cast and crew, the movie is an ensemble piece that follows different characters and storylines.
“We have over 40 speaking parts, really a lot for such a short movie,” said director Alex Bocchieri, 28, a graduate of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the source of many other participants in the production, from actors to cinematographers.
All the actors portray actual people, but some of the characters are composites, according to Hayashi. While it’s based on real-life events, “Go for Broke” is a fictional film, she said.
One thread follows high school students Eddie Yamasaki (played by Luke Masuda) and future U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (Kyle Kosaki). The latter, in a gripping early scene, is riding his bicycle to school when Pearl Harbor — and the modest homes of his Moiliili neighborhood (shot at Hawaii’s Plantation Village in Waipahu) — are struck.
Yamasaki, who died earlier this year, had helped out since the project’s start and “was one of my best friends in the world,” Hayashi said.
A second plotline depicts the local soldiers serving in the Oahu-based 298th Infantry, a former Hawaii Territorial Guard unit that eventually became part of the 100th Infantry Battalion. They include the playful, charismatic Leighton Goro Sumida (Jabez Armodia) and stalwart, pensive Thomas “Kewpie” Tsubota (Keane Ishii). Watching the soldiers trade quips with their dates in a bar, sing, play and dance to Hawaiian music and then get swept into action — firing at enemy planes over Oahu, guarding a stretch of Waimanalo beach, training exhaustively through the pine forests at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin (shot in Kahuku and St. Louis Heights) — one is inevitably reminded of the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”
That is no coincidence, Bocchieri said, as the 2001 show about American GIs in World War II was his inspiration in directing “Go for Broke,” originally conceived as the pilot of a 10-part series following the 100th/442nd through the war.
Hayashi said some of the lines were written by the veterans themselves. “I would ask them, ‘What did you say? How did you feel, what did you do?’”
That’s one reason the film has achieved such historically — and emotionally — accurate depictions as that of the Japanese midget submarine that struck the reef off Waimanalo and the rescue of its surviving crewman from the shorewash. “That was told to me several times by ‘Kewpie’ Tsubota, who captured him,” Hayashi said.
The submarine is one of the movie’s digital effects overseen by co-producer Dean Sensui, a former Honolulu journalist. Others included planes, explosions and thousands of soldiers marching down King Street in one scene.
AT THE HEART of the film is the group of University of Hawaii ROTC students who joined the Hawaii Territorial Guard but were summarily dismissed after Pearl Harbor due to their Japanese ethnicity.
Enter some behind-the-scenes heroes: To keep up the students’ spirits and demonstrate their loyalty, local lawyer Hung Wai Ching (Michael Ng) and writer Shigeo Yoshida (Chris Tashima) persuade them to go to Schofield Barracks and volunteer as civilians. Assigned to break rocks and dig ditches, they become known as the Varsity Victory Volunteers.
Tashima, an Oscar-winning filmmaker whose Californian parents were interned as children during the war, said in a phone interview from his Los Angeles office that he was impressed with the foresight of Yoshida and Ching.
“They were talking about internment before Pearl Harbor. It goes back to the mid- to late ’30s when they started anticipating war and how Japanese-Americans in Hawaii would be treated.”
Yoshida writes an eloquent petition for the “VVV Boys” to be allowed to join the armed services. His and Ching’s efforts, the backbreaking labor and positive attitude of the volunteers, and the stellar training record of the 298th Infantry regained the right to enlist for Japanese-Americans.
In Hawaii, 10,000 signed up for the 2,500 places initially available. The mustering of thousands of enlistees and supporters at Iolani Palace, made famous in a newspaper photo, is the film’s climactic scene.
Because of this showing of patriotism, Tashima said, Hawaii Japanese-American families were not sent to internment camps on anything approaching the wide scale of detentions in mainland coastal states. However, like many Hawaii issei (immigrants from Japan), the fathers of two VVV students, Yoshiaki “Sharkey” Fujitani (portrayed by Cole Horibe) and Akira Otani (Chad Yazawa), were interned.
“Go for Broke” includes scenes in a wintry Wisconsin camp where sickly, elderly Hawaii fisherman Matsujiro Otani (Ban Daisuke, best known as Japanese superhero Kikaida) is imprisoned. Among the detainees is the Japanese submariner captured in Waimanalo, whom the other inmates pick on until Otani tells them to stop.
Daisuke’s performance in a heartwarming yet understated scene between Otani and the young Japanese captive came as a surprise to director Bocchieri and was done in just one take, he said.
“I was just so impressed. Whatever Ban did was all Ban.”
AT A PREVIEW screening of “Go for Broke” for the cast, crew, friends and family Oct. 8 at Hawaii Theatre, Hayashi handed all the credit to the heroes of her film.
Many Hawaii veterans, she said, had helped her with fundraising, research, food and drink, and moral support. Looking into the audience, she thanked by name the veterans seated there, those who were too frail to attend, those who had died before the film wrapped, and their families.
Also present was the family of the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, an unflagging supporter to whom the film is dedicated.
After the screening, veterans, most seated in wheelchairs, mingled with actors and crew in the theater lobby. Akira Otani posed for a photo with Chad Yazawa, who played him in “Go for Broke.”
“I got to meet him, and the clarity of his memories gave me the base to form what I did,” Yazawa said.
Asked his opinion of the film, Otani leaned forward and thought for a moment. “Stacey did well by the boys,” he said.