Review: Heroes of Iwo Jima

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As a WWII buff, the Pacific area in general, I asked for this documentary on DVD for Christmas. It originally aired on the A&E cable channel and I'd seen parts of it, but not the entire documentary. It was worth watching!

heroes1.jpg - 16692 Bytes Gene Hackman, the host/narrator, is a former Marine, although he didn't fight in the WWII battle on Iwo Jima. However, he was a fitting choice. Interspersed with documentary footage from the battle are interviews with James Bradley, author of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, and veterans, this documentary brings to life the story behind the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. Make it, the raising of the two flags on Iwo Jima. Although the second raising is the one captured forever in a photograph by Rosenthal, the first was the most dramatic and gut-wrenching of the two, once you know the real story behind all of this.

Hackman talks about those who raised the first flag, a much smaller one than the one in our memories, and the sadness and yes, jealousy, that the second flag raisers were honored and made famous, while the real initial flag raisers were all but ignored.

But life for the famous flag raisers was not all celebrity. Each is profiled with what happened to them right after the war, when they were whisked away to meet the President and honored in the states with parades, grand openings, bit roles in motion pictures and more. When the spotlight stopped shining on them, life changed. Forever.

"Heroes of Iwo Jima" is a must-see for anyone interested in Iwo Jima, the flag raising or military history in general. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Semper fi. heroes2.jpg - 34464 Bytes

Purchase information:
VHS or DVD $19.95 through popular bookstores and video stores including Amazon.com.