Click here to view the film trailer.
The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1899 by the U.S. Congress as a segregated unit composed primarily of Puerto Ricans with mostly continental officers. The 65th fought in three wars: World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The unit was nicknamed the “Borinqueneers” after the island of Puerto Rico. The native Taino Indians called their island Borinquen, which means “land of the brave lord.”
The 65th performed impressively in all the wars, particularly the Korean War for which they earned high praise from General MacArthur for always giving 200%. The 65th Regiment showed outstanding resilience and legendary fierceness as combatants, even as they faced discrimination within the Army.
In the fall of 1952, the Borinqueneers were at the center of a series of dramatic events that threatened their very existence. At the heart of it all, the fact that because Puerto Rico is only a commonwealth, its men could be drafted but they could not vote in the U.S. elections. And although thousands of Puerto Ricans have served courageously in the Armed Forces since WWI, their contribution and sacrifices have gone largely unnoticed.
The film, “The Borinqueneers,” explores the rich history of this unique regiment and its darkest hour through extensive historical research and interviews with over 250 veterans and commanding officers from the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“The Borinqueneers” film was produced, directed and written by Noemi Figueroa Soulet, co-produced and directed by Raquel Ortiz, and narrated by Hector Elizondo. It has won numerous film and documentary awards, including Winner, Award of Excellence, Insight Awards 2009; Winner, Best Professional Documentary, Reel to Reel International Film Festival 2008; and Winner, Award of Execellence, Accolade Television Awards, 2008.
“The Borinqueneers” one-hour television version is being shown on PBS. See http://www.pbs.org/ for listings. To order the FULL documentary and find out more about the 65th Regiment, visit http://www.borinqueneers.com/.
QUE DIOS LOS BENDIGA.