“A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street” by Mid-America Emmy award winners Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Moline-based Fourth Wall Films is an Official Selection at the Beloit International Film Festival in Wisconsin.
The documentary will screen twice during the festival: Wednesday, March 2 at Domenico’s and Saturday, March 5 at La Casa Grande. A Q&A discussion with the filmmakers will follow the 26-minute movie.
“A Bridge Too Far From Hero Street” follows William Sandoval’s journey from a boxcar in Silvis to a battle in a forest in Holland. Born into an impoverished family of 12, Willie performed migrant farm work alongside his parents and siblings until his father took a job with the Rock Island Railroad, according to a Fourth Wall release.
The Sandovals and other Mexican immigrants made their homes in boxcars in the rail yard. As a young man Willie became an accomplished boxer. Answering a call to service following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Willie became an Army paratrooper. He survived several battles over the next two years (Salerno, Anzio), before he was killed at age 21 in October 1944 following his involvement in the largest air assault in history — Operation Market Garden.
An on-camera interview with military historian John C. McManus, the author of “September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far,” highlights Willie’s participation. Marc Wilson, the author of “Hero Street, USA,” is also featured.
Eight sons of Mexican immigrants from the block-and-a-half long 2nd Street in Silvis, were killed in combat in World War II and Korea — more lost than any other street in America. The street was renamed Hero Street in 1968.
The Rundles’ “Hero Street” documentary series explores the personal and family sagas behind each of the eight heroes from Silvis, and tells the compelling true story of an ongoing effort to memorialize them. The Rundles partnered with WQPT-PBS to produce the Mid-America Emmy-nominated “Letters Home to Hero Street,” which tells Hero Frank Sandoval’s story and was the first film created for the series. “A Bridge Too Far From Hero Street” is part 3 in the series.
The newest film in the series, “An Infantryman from Hero Street” (part 4), tells hero Joseph Sandoval’s story and is slated for release near Memorial Day 2022.
The “Hero Street” documentary film series received partial funding, through its fiscal sponsor the Moline Foundation, from the Regional Development Authority (RDA), Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Humanities, Humanities Iowa, National Endowment for the Humanities, Quad City Arts, the Quad Cities Community Foundation, LULAC Iowa, Mexican American Veterans Association, the City of Silvis, and individual contributors.
The project also received two grant awards from the Moline Foundation. The views and opinions expressed by these films do not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations. Moline-based Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy award-winning and nine-time Mid-America Emmy-nominated independent film production company.
For more information, visit its website.