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  • Written by Greg Rogers

We go to the cinema... the movies, to be entertained or to be reminded about something from the past or to learn from the products of the imaginations and skills of large teams of people with different talents who come together to produce cinema.

Story tellers of the past had to write books and then find a publisher who had the final say in whether or not "the public" would be able to have access to the author's work. A publisher's decision was mostly influenced by profit. Not a lot of altruism was found among publishers. Profit was the prime motivator. While money is still a prime motivator when movie producers make decisions on what 'stories" will be adapted into a movie, sometimes the need to tell a story that should be told is the prime motivator. I suspect that the producers of the 2019 movie Midway wanted to tell the World War Two story to a new generation with the use of the latest computer generated content to support an outstanding cast.

Midway was clearly produced by a lot of very talented professionals and support staff who were provided with a large amount of money. It is stunning to watch and during the course of the movie, the characters become our friends or acquaintances.

There is certainly no shortage of entertainment in 2020. Television, as pay TV or free to air TV offers more content each day than it is possible to view. So many channels and so many offerings that seeing them all is impossible. Then there is YouTube. Google's video repository holds more videos of events, occurrences, music, documentaries and "how to's", than a human could watch in a lifetime. It is much like public libraries. Too many books on display and too little time.

One movie that you should see is Midway.

If you have time, spend a few Dollars to go to the cinema to see Midway.... there you will find the big screens and very powerful sound systems required to become absorbed in a slice of time and place in World War Two.

While studying journalism at university, I learned that there were "gatekeepers" who controlled the flow of information to the public. They were the "Fleet Street Barons" in England and the American equivalents. Print media owners employed editors and journalists who were directed about what to report and more importantly perhaps, what not to reveal. Today, not much can be kept secret as citizen journalists can report freely without influence as they are not usually motivated by financial rewards or political preferences. Today, the print "gatekeepers" are out of business and as a result information flows freely around most parts of the World. Movie producers still control what we see on TV or in the cinema and so I give thanks to the producers of Midway for financing the movie.

Making Midway in 2019 for release in 2020 took courage. There is a financial risk because it is a story that has been told before. It is about historical facts that should not be changed to entertain. The producers have stuck to the facts. The cast, the visual artists and technology have created a superb movie.

It is a tribute to the people around the World who stood up to Japan and Germany during World War Two. The outcome of the war is known now but who would win, was not known when the events showcased by Midway took place. The government of Japan and the military forces of Japan were the enemy in the Pacific War and they were ruthless, brutal, despicable and horrible. It took courage for America and its allies to take the fight to Japan rather than give in or not fight at all by allowing Japan to keep possession and control of vast areas of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

Millions of servicemen and servicewomen carried out the fighting and endured the suffering of World War Two. It was them who joined the military or stayed in the armed forces when the war broke out in the Pacific after the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor without warning.

In the Midway movie of 2020, the moral courage of individual service men and women is the primary focus of the screenplay.

America was lead by a President who directed that America will defeat Japan and ultimately carrying out that task was the responsibility of Admiral Nimitz. His subordinates were well trained and very competent. They created plans that worked. Japan was defeated and the World was a much better place that it would have been if Japan had retained its control over the lives of millions of people in the Asia Pacific region.

Midway is about Admirals but it is also about enlisted men and more junior officers. It is the latter who took off in aircraft with not enough fuel to get to their destination. Flight crews and sailors were constantly in danger and setting out on every flight or mission required courage, determination and love of colleagues and friends in their units.

Midway is a superb movie because the technology employed to make the movie, produced scenes where the viewer is in the battle. In many movies the viewer watches what is going on. People watching Midway are in the cockpit. They are in the back seat of torpedo bombers and dive bombers fighting for their lives with machine guns. Midway in an immersive experience for the viewer. Technology and the work of hundreds of talented people have turned back time and brought naval and aerial warfare to the present. Viewers are virtually in the war. Perhaps for the first time on the screen, anyone can gain a virtual first hand view of courage in action.

After watching Midway, viewers will know the stunning deeds and acts of bravery that are behind service decorations such as the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and the Navy Cross.

The producers took the risk and this movie is exceptional. Go see it.

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