In 1898, the U.S. ignored the Philippines declaration of independence and purchased the country from Spain for $20 million, making it a possession of the U.S. In preparation for war, Roosevelt conscripted the forces of the Philippines into the U.S. Army in 1941, and guerrilla troops were activated in 1944. Less than one year after the war ended, the 76th Congress decided to declare Filipino troops to “have not been on active duty” via the Rescission Acts of 1946. From 1946 through 1948, the U.S. Army reconstructed guerrilla rosters furthering the insult through arbitrary omissions and a policy of discriminating against women who served.
While there have been films made about WWII in the Philippines, they do not speak to the behavior of the U.S. government which repeatedly denied the Philippines their independence, the policies that put the archipelago in the crossfire of the U.S. and Japan, and subsequent manipulations and marginalization of hundreds of thousands of men and women who fought under the U.S. flag.
Weaving in and out of history, with WWII footage, interviews with the veterans, families, lawyers, legislators, advocates, verité of declassified government documents, and animation of rediscovered WWII and original art, we investigate the claims of disenfranchised veterans, ask when will they be recognized, and wonder, will it happen before they are all dead?
Teresa Purtiman Legal
Produced by ätɘr+flix, In Association with Tuck and Roll Productions