Opinion: “Midway” movie ends with offensive statement
DISCLAIMER: The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL NewsRadio or its ownership.
It’s Veterans Day and if you’re thinking about going to “Midway”, this “Military Times” movie review might put a full stop on that decision.
The movie received mostly poor reviews from critics; according to Rotten Tomatoes—40%, although the audience overwhelmingly liked it—88%.
Here’s an excerpt from the review: “If you shell out your hard-earned money to see this film, you are spoiling your own life and ruining the joy of those in your company.”
During World War II, Midway housed a small but strategically important United States military base near Hawaii. Six-months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked Midway and suffered one of their most devastating defeats: four aircraft carriers were lost in the attack as well as nearly 300 planes and 3,000 men—many of Japan’s most experienced pilots.
The final on-screen wording of the film had this controversial message, “The film is dedicated to the American and Japanese sailors who fought at Midway. The sea remembers its own.”
Is this statement poignant or offensive?
No doubt the filmmakers were trying to be poignant, but I find it offensive.
Imagine a movie about 9/11 ending, “This film is dedicated to the American and Taliban soldiers that fought for their cause,” or a movie about the Battle of the Bulge, “dedicated to the United States 101st Airborne and the Nazis who died in the forest of Bastogne.” If it’s wrong to put the Al-Qaeda and Nazis on the same level as American soldiers, then it is equally wrong to do so with the Japanese.
The United States was reluctant to join the war against Germany and Japan, but after the devastating attack at Pearl Harbor, we joined. Japan was the aggressor, America was defending itself.
History is clear, Japan was in the wrong and it paid a devastating price for waging war against the United States. The losses on both sides were tragic, but to put the instigator next to the defender and call their losses equal is ridiculous.
Both Japan and Germany have spent decades atoning for their atrocities and today, are some of our staunchest allies. This is both appropriate, necessary, and a cause for celebration; but these things can be done without turning a blind eye to their horrific history.
Never forget, or as George Santayana is credited with saying, “’Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
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