Academia Historica releases war documentary

BACKGROUND INFO::The institution said it will produce documentaries each year to inform the public about important periods in wartime history

By Huang Wei-chu and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 3

The Academia Historica yesterday released a new documentary focusing mainly on General Claire Lee Chennault, leader of the air squadron known as the “Flying Tigers” during World War II.

The Flying Tigers were a group of US volunteer fighter pilots based in Kunming, China, who fought against the Japanese and helped train the Republic of China’s fledgling air force.

Titled Leaping Tiger Soaring Eagle — Chennault and the Sino-Japanese War (虎躍鷹揚-陳納德與中國抗戰), the documentary is said to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) recent depictions and interpretations of wartime history.

In recent years, the Chinese authorities have actively promoted their interpretation of the “united front” that resisted the Japanese invaders and claiming major credit for emerging as the victorious side in the Sino-Japanese War (1937 to 1945).

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has criticized Chinese authorities for distorting that period of history and called on them to “present the truth.”

Observers have said Academia Historica’s 60-minute documentary is an explicit response to the CCP’s representation of the Sino-Japanese War.

“This is an important way to remember the war against Japan,” Academia Historica director Lu Fang-shang (呂芳上) said.

“Through this documentary, we aim to inform the public, particular younger generations, about this period in wartime history,” he said.

The Academia Historica plans to produce two documentaries per year, Lu said.

The institution is now undertaking a three-year project to produce a documentary on the war against Japan, he added.