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One of the lesser told tales of World War II: Roughly two months after
Pearl Harbor, 2 destroyers are to escort a supply ship to a Navy base on
Newfoundland, Canada - but a heavy winter storm coupled with errors in
navigation caused by the relative inexperience of the crew and
over-reliance on the then new-fangled radar system, gets the ships some 30
miles off course, and sees two of them run aground. And it's only thanks
to local miners that about half of the crews of the two vessels survived,
as they risked their lives saving as many as they could, without the least
experience let alone training in rescue mission, but their hearts in the
right place - and knowledge of the lay of the land at least going for
them. It was a definite act of war heroism, and one the American Navy
tried to hush up back when as losing two ships to heavy weather before
even engaging with the enemy wasn't exactly fitting the uplifting
narrative they were looking for. But in that little miner town in Canada,
the event is celebrated to this day, eclipsed by a reunion of survivors
and saviours in 1988 where there wasn't a dry eye left ...
mentioned, this is a rather under-covered tale of World War II, and of
course in the grander scheme of things a less important one, too - but
filmmaker Terry Strauss manages to trigger just the right emotions to make
one feel what the story must mean for those involved by creating a proper
build-up and narrative arc out of pieced together interviews, photographs
and illustrations while losing narration sparingly enough to not get too
factual and cold. And the outcome is a pretty fascinating document of
heroism off the battlefields, but one that comes from the heart.