Emmy winner make WWII documentary

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 10, 2013

LOS ANGELESLOS ANGELES – For American World War II soldiers, the carabou patch is a symbol and a reminder of one of their most traumatic experiences: a badge of honor that they survived some terrible conditions in the Philippines. “It was three and a half years and a combination of slave labor, disease, cruelty, many things,” said Jim Collier, a WWII veteran.

It took 22 years to film, but American documentary filmmaker and three-time Emmy winner Jan Thompson has unveiled, “Never the Same: the Prisoner of WR Experience”.

The daughter of an American prisoner of war captured in Corregidor, Thompson’s two hour documentary chronicles the war through the eyes of American service men stationed in the Philippines.

“Nobody knows about what happened in the Philippines during World War II and it was a tragic period, a tragic chapter in our history and also the Philippines history,” said Thompson.

The movie is being screened throughout the US. Thompson is hoping to bring the project to Filipino communities.

Los Angeles-based Filipino community leaders, historians, and Los Angeles Consul General Helen Barber Dela Vega were among the first to see the film.

”We always want to see new research or new documentaries come out because most of the stuff we have is over 50 years old so new discoveries survivors, alive, give human aspects to the story,” said Frank Lopez of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society.

Thompson, whose other credits include “The Tragedy of Bataan” documentary, is also considering another follow up that may go more in depth on the Filipinos that fought alongside the American soldiers.

You may reach Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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