Mount Carmel School and D&R Visuals premiered the next installment of the We Drank Our Tears series last Thursday night at the American Memorial Park with a free admission to the general public.
As a follow up to the last year’s stories from Francisco Babauta, Benjamin Abadilla, and Rafael Mafnas; the three new films featured the stories of Carmen Acosta, Sr. Antoineta Ada, and Rosa Agulto.
Last year’s films were a resounding success. Rafael Mafnas’ story, directed by MCS seniors Angelo Manese and Justin Ocampo, was screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and won Best of Festival at the 2018 Guam International Film Festival.
Acosta’s story follows her journey through the jungles during World War II with guidance of her Japanese teacher in order to reunite with her family.
Ada’s story focuses on her escaping the ravages of war with her Japanese family.
Lastly, Agulto’s story focuses on her journey through the caves as she guides her blind grandmother and her family to safety.
Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club alumna Aysia Santos directed these films with the help of MCS students William Blake Deleon Guerrero and Quincy Chinen.
All three films are adapted from We Drank Our Tears, a 2004 oral history of the civilian experience of World War II battles on Saipan and Tinian, published by the Pacific STAR Young Writers Foundation. In 1944, some of the final battles of World War II were waged on the Pacific islands of Saipan and Tinian. 933 indigenous Chamorro and Refaluwasch civilians did not survive the battles, and film chronicle three of their stories.
The film’s cast and crew included a wide range of talent from across the islands. The team of MCS president Galvin Deleon Guerrero, NMC’s Frankie Elliptico, Denton Pangelinan, Rita Indalecio, Don Muna, and Ken Muna produced all three films.
Deleon Guerrero noted how the stories are coming full circle. “For the 60th anniversary, the We Drank Our Tears book was published to chronicle the experience of civilians in the war. Fifteen years later, we are keeping those stories alive by bringing them to life in film,” he said.
The three new films were screened after the encore screening of the original trilogy.
These films were produced as part of the CNMI’s 75th anniversary commemoration of the end of World War II battles in the islands.