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Synopsis: After being wounded by the first explosions at Pearl Harbor, Charles McCandless fought in the most critical battles against Imperial Japan in World War II. Midway, Guadalcanal, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima, to name a few. When he got home, like many veterans, he never talked about it. When Sandra McCandless Simons first read her father’s memoir, its revelations inspired her to publish his book so that others could experience his unique perspective on the war in the Pacific.
Using newly-discovered archive footage along with unique images from McCandless family scrapbooks, this film brings the vivid storytelling of Charles’ memoir to the screen, along with fresh insight and humanity to one of the most consequential military struggles in history.
Last year I came upon the memoir “A Flash of Green” and was blown away by its depiction of a regular guy thrust into the teeth of World War Two. It brought the conflict into a human-scale in a way I had never experienced. His scrapbooks and detailed account of his remarkable experiences provided a natural structure for a compelling documentary. I feel this piece brings an important perspective on the war that I have not yet seen. While sharing the film with more and more people, I’ve discovered many veterans’ families are hungry to learn more about their fathers; and grandfathers’ experiences during World War Two. In this story, they often find parallels to their own family’s experience.
Edward Nachtrieb is an award-winning journalist, photographer, writer, producer, and director/cameraman with a varied background that includes documentaries, television series, public service outreach, and international photojournalism
Nachtrieb began his career as a photojournalist for Reuters News Pictures in Asia in the 1980’s when he covered stories throughout the region including the Philippine “people power” revolution, political unrest in Korea, and refugees escaping war in Sri Lanka. As Reuters Chief Photographer in China, he smuggled film out of Tibet, helped uncover previously unreported unrest in Xinjiang and led a photo team that covered the pro-democracy movement from the first student protests to the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square.
Back in the United States in the 1990s, he formed a production company in New Mexico with a varied portfolio that included not only award-winning television commercials but also public service documentaries and outreach programs for the State of New Mexico as well as several Native American tribes. After moving to Los Angeles in 1997, he began working in television as a writer, producer, and director. Among his credits, he was Supervising Producer and Director for over 60 episodes of the Travel Channel’s John Ratzenberger’s Made in America and the Executive Producer and Director of the acclaimed “Small Shots” for TNN/Spike.
While continuing to develop television formats, Nachtrieb has also been drawn to projects with strong social relevance including his documentary “All the Way Home: Bravery on the Home Front” which was screened for the House Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington DC and helped raise money for Veterans support groups around the country and “A Measure of Justice” about justice at the International Court for the Former Yugoslavia in the context of the siege of Sarajevo.