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Black Maria Film Festival

Director's statement

Director's statement

My dad did not talk to me much about his struggles. Then, I discovered a secret diary my father kept while he was a teenage prisoner-of-war in Japan. Until I read his diary, I never knew what incredible challenges led him to ultimately practice medicine in veterans' hospitals. This film documents a story of triumph over adversity, showing major historical events through a deeply personal lens using interviews, rare archival footage, and my father's wartime diary. The film structure mirrors the old-fashioned television and radio chapter plays. Each chapter in this layered story begins with a quote from my father's diary, visually rendered in his elegant penmanship. Like a real-life Zelig, my father was there: from sailing to Iran as a merchant seaman, to driving a tank over exploding kim chee vats in Korea. My father believed that, after surviving the horrors that surrounded him as a POW, every day held potential for joy. In comparison, every day is a holiday.

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Black Maria Film Festival

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