Synopsis by Ryan Shriver
While the tragic and misguided Japanese internment camps during World War II are well documented, the stories of the young Japanese men who served in the United States Army while their relatives had their constitutional rights revoked are finally brought to light in director Gayle K. Yamada's 2003 historical documentary, Uncommon Courage: Patriotism and Civil Liberties. Though the prospect of having Japanese men in the armed services during the war would seem to have been considered an asset, the opposite was, unfortunately, true. The only branch of the military to allow men of Japanese heritage to enlist was the Army, though, to the its credit, those young men were fully utilized in the Military Intelligence Service as translators, interrogators, and spies. Interviewing a number of Japanese-American World War II veterans, Yamada reveals the stories of these young patriots who served their nation proudly, in spite of the injustices that same nation visited on their loved ones. Produced by KVIE Public Television, Uncommon Courage: Patriotism and Civil Liberties was screened at the 2003 New York Independent Film and Video Festival.