Fil-Am Documentary: The Hidden Dream

The much anticipated Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was something that had everybody talking and interested in their family’s roots in the U.S. I was very impressed with the PBS series but it left me thinking that Filipinos are probably still not recognized as an important ethnic group in America. To my surprise, I was able to find out about the Fil-Am documentary, The Hidden Dream. This 60 minute documentary portrays the little known history of America’s second largest immigrant group since 1990 … Filipinos.  The documentary features survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the equally brutal Japanese prisoner of war camps share their memories of courage, torture and death.  They speak with outrage of the Rescission Act of 1946 which denied them the benefits and recognition deserved as being part of the United States Army. Impassioned protests and political speeches eventually enabled the Rescission Act to itself be rescinded in 2008.  The veterans, many of whom are in their 80’s and 90’s are dying at an alarming rate with many of their claims not yet realized. This documentary produced & directed by Sheila Duenas Imme and Jon Imme aims to tackle issues that Filipinos face of being sworn in as US citizens and at the same time trying to maintain their Filipino identity. These issues are a big impact on first generation Filipino-American youths and Filipinos like myself who grew up in America who were often confused or frustrated of what it means to be both a Filipino and an American. For a preview of The Hidden Dream, click here and for more details on the documentary please go liliesandravens.org.

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