From the series Stories of Service at the Digital Clubhouse, I found the story A Nisei’s Fight for Freedom compelling and well told. It was produced and narrated by the subject of the story, a Japanese American named Rudy Tokiwa. In a scant 4:46 minutes, mostly against a simple piano background, Rudy tells the story of his life after Pearl Harbor, to the internment camp, volunteering for a segregated Japanese unit in the US military. The 442nd was ultimately the most highly decorated unit in US history, though the decorations were not all realized in a timely manner.
The format of the story is very simple and linear. The images move in a linear manner, closely matched to the details of the narrative. The style of the story is spare, yet smooth and powerful. There is nothing extraneous or gimmicky. Even the images are unvaried landscapes rather than close-ups or varied-angled shots. The power of the narrative to reveal its significance–heroism against a background of discrimination and mistrust–and takes its emotional impact from the direct way in which it is told. The digital storyteller did nothing to enhance the emotional impact. The voice of the narrator–the main character in the story himself–takes its power from its clarity, its maturity and unwavering tone.