Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review of "Windtalkers," DVD version

Review of
Windtalkers, DVD version

Five out of five stars
 One of the best stories to come out of World War II in the Pacific theater is that of the code talkers. Native American Navahos that were fluent in their language communicated over open radios, the only modification needed was that references to the tools of modern warfare had to be created. When the code talkers spoke over the radios, the Japanese language experts could hear what was being said, but were baffled, as none of them had ever encountered the language. The code was never broken, as none of the code talkers were ever captured and interrogated by the Japanese.
 Each code talker was assigned a minder, a fellow soldier whose mission was to protect the code at all costs. That meant that in the event of certain capture, the lives of the code talker and his minder were considered expendable. Nicolas Cage plays a U. S. Marine (Enders) deep in the throes of combat fatigue, yet still a superb fighting man. He is the minder assigned to code talker Yahzee played by Adam Beach and both play their roles very well. They develop the type of friendship that likely could only arise in a combat situation where they are heavily dependent on each other.
 The makers of the movie did not gloss over the overt racism of some members of the Marine unit had for the Native Americans, even after they successfully call in a naval bombardment that silences strong Japanese defensive positions. While there is a lot of graphic war violence in this movie, there are deep undercurrents of Native American culture as well as how a minority group that was almost exterminated played a critical role in the American victory over Japan. It is hard to have racist bias against a person that just saved your life.

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