Print

NEWS

May 25, 2010

RSU Public TV Airs Film about Oklahoma WW I Soldiers Friday

"Voices of a Never Ending Dawn," a film about a group of young American soldiers sent to northern Russia during World War I, will be aired on RSU Public Television on Friday, May 28 at 11 a.m. Many of the soldiers who braved sixty-degree below zero blizzard conditions were from Oklahoma.

Calling themselves "The Polar Bears" because of the brutal weather, the film relates their plight using words from their own diaries.

Shipped off to northern Russia to fight the communists during the start of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 and 1919, the soldiers did not get the call to come home and were iced in, trapped in northern Russia during the winter of 1918. They stayed and fought for nearly eight months after WW I ended and all of the other American soldiers had come home.

The two-hour film was produced and directed by Pamela Peak, known for her PBS documentary "Colorblind." Peak and her crew traveled to northern Michigan in mid-January of 2009 and filmed in 7-degree below zero temperatures to recreate battlefield scenes that occurred in northern Russia.

Night usually gives cover and rest to fighting, but this was not the case in a land of midnight sun. The Polar Bears never knew if it was night or dawn so they were forced to keep on fighting while time seemed "never ending." Stripped of everything American, given little to no medical supplies, and placed entirely under British rule, the soldiers found themselves facing life and death situations everywhere they turned.

Despite all the odds against them, the majority of these men not only survived, but the group became known as one of the most courageous and decorated units in all of WW1.

The film takes us on an emotional journey inside the minds and hearts of this group of young soldiers who not only struggled with a mission that became known as the most horrific mission ever assigned, but who struggled with the thought that their country had forgotten them.

"Voices of a Never Ending Dawn" is not a political film nor is it a war documentary. It is a moving human story about survival against all odds and the cohesiveness of a unit that became so strong that these men decided to stay alive and fight for each other while they hoped to someday make it home.

For more information about RSU Public Television, visit www.rsupublictv.org or call (918) 343-7882.