ANPO – Linda Hoaglund

ANPO the movie

On November 8th, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Okinawa to protest U.S. plans to relocate a Marine Corps air base to the emerald waters of Oura Bay. Construction of the base would destroy a coral reef sheltering the bay and threaten the critically endangered Okinawa manatee, a gentle creature integral to Okinawa’s environment, culture and history. Many also fear the relocated base would increase the number of murders, rapes and assaults that have plagued towns near other U.S. bases. Although the relocation was negotiated in 2006, the newly-elected Japanese ruling party is reconsidering the agreement, even suggesting the base be relocated outside Japan. This unexpected groundswell of opposition to a previously negotiated deal threatens one of America’s most important strategic relationships. The U.S., afraid that allowing Japan to renegotiate the terms could open up a deeper review of America’s military presence in the country, is sticking to a hard line and insisting the base be built. The protesters are vowing to prevent it.

Born and raised in Japan, Hoaglund is uniquely qualified to tell this story. The majority of her work has dealt with translating the subjective experience of Japanese culture to the Anglophone world. She has subtitled over 200 films, and Wings of Defeat, her previous documentary about Kamikaze pilots who survived WWII, received international critical acclaim. Her director of photography is Yamazi Yutaka, one of Japan’s most accomplished cameramen who also filmed the 1960 protests against U.S. bases as a student. Playing a key advisory role is Dr. John Dower, Professor of History at MIT and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat, the definitive study of postwar Japanese culture and politics.

Linda Hoaglund was born in Japan, the daughter of American missionary parents, and raised in rural Japan where she attended Japanese public schools. A graduate of Yale University, she was a bilingual news producer for Japanese television between 1981 and 1987. In 1987 she joined an independent American film production company as a producer. Since 1996, she has subtitled 200 Japanese films. She recently produced and wrote the feature documentary film, Wings of Defeat, about Kamikaze pilots who survived WWII. Wings of Defeat was screened at numerous international film festivals and broadcast internationally, including on the PBS series, “Independent Lens” in May, 2009. It received the 2009 Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians. Currently she is directing and producing a new feature documentary, ANPO, the story of resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan and the cultural legacy of those protests. It is scheduled for completion in 2010.