The recent film Unbroken: Path to Redemption shows us the serious influence PTSD has on World War veterans. Actor David Sakurai expresses his role in the film and talks more about his different backgrounds while growing up in Denmark.
ATM: How does this film explore the reality of what veterans experience mentally when coming back home?
DS: We grew up watching a lot of World War movies. This one deals with the aftermath. It is an emotional battle. It is interesting to see and follow this story. You kind of take the story with you. This was an interesting focus. It was inspiring to see how he finds his ways out of internal battles. PTSD was not something talked about during this time.
ATM: Why do you feel this?
DS: No one just wanted to talk or care about it. It is something we can all relate to it. We are all at some point held captive. This is the same for me in certain situations in my life. It really shows fighting your inner demons. It is not bad to ask for help. People did not want to ask for help during this period. You just dealt with it the best way you could. This film shows something else. It is a very inspiring and beautiful movie.
ATM: How does a person try to move on when their past constantly haunts them? How did the lines of the script help you to understand this question?
DS: He has to go through this in his own mind in order to escape. You cannot deal with it any longer. It is the love of his family that helps him. He had to get help with this. It is about questionable faith. It is relatable throughout the world. People deal with difficult matters all the time. You see you can deal with problems from seeing someone like in the movie deal with theirs.
ATM: Do you ever question your faith?
DS: We all question ourselves. This is a healthy thing for us to progress. Growing up we all questioned ourselves a lot more. I definitely had to question myself coming from my background. It is a natural and constant thing. We are always evolving. Do I question myself? Yes, all the time.
ATM: How do you carry coming from a Danish and Japanese background, where do not see a lot of people like you?
DS: It is also about questioning one’s self. I did this for years. I thought about where I belonged. My father is Japanese, and my mother is Danish. I grew up in Europe. There was a huge Asian community around me. I looked very Asian while growing up. I had to figure out where I was from. It was hard for me. I left Denmark very early on after high school. I had to figure out what my Japanese heritage was all about and getting close to my Japanese family. I took a long time to understand life. I came back to Europe to work on acting. I was on a quest to portray different characters.
I did not see people like me. It has been a constant battle moving forward. It was refreshing to see over in the States while growing up in Europe. It got snippets of inspirations, which led me to pursue my dreams. I saw different actors of unique heritage. They looked different like how I looked different. This prompted me to actually move over here. Things have changed a lot. The platform is not as big where I am from. I can see the move more over here. I am still dealing with it. I take it as a blessing now. I feel I belong in a third place. I am proud of this and take this with great pride. This is a way to build bridges.