Before watching the film, briefly describe for your child the origins and course of the Korean War. See Helpful Background section second paragraph. After the movie ask and help your child to answer the Quick Discussion Question.
Until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, marriage between people of different races was frowned on. In fact, it was illegal in many states until such laws were held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Prejudice against mixed marriages was particularly strong in the Southeastern United States. Intermarriage between the races only became accepted in the last half of the 20th century and, even then many people held to the old ways. The United States had tens of thousands of soldiers in Japan for years after the Second World War. During the Korean War, Japan was a major staging base for U.S. forces fighting the North Koreans and Chinese. During this period, the U.S. military did everything it could to prevent marriages between U.S. servicemen and Japanese nationals. If soldiers did marry Japanese women, they were not allowed to take their wives home. As Japan became a U.S. ally, the pressure to change the policy grew in strength. Congress then passed a law permitting the GIs to bring their Japanese brides home to the U.S.
Japan annexed Korea in 1910 and imposed a brutal colonial rule on the peninsula. After the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union divided Korea into divisions of occupation along the 38th parallel. The area north of the parallel, occupied by the Soviet Union, became Communist North Korea. The southern portion, occupied by the U.S., became South Korea. In the Korean War (1950 – 1953), North Korea, backed by China, invaded South Korea, which was supported by the U.S. The war seesawed back and forth with Chinese troops entering the war on the side of the North. The Korean War finally ended with an armistice but no peace treaty. The boundary was left in the same place it had been at the start of the war. There had been 2,000,000 casualties on the communist side; 1,500,000 on the United Nations side.