A pair of film tributes will debut in January paying homage to aviators who risked everything for a country that refused to let them eat at the same lunch counters or ride at the front of a bus.
“In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen” is being released on DVD and distributed at Walmart stores around the country. The retail giant has selected the documentary by Bryton Entertainment to commemorate Black History Month in February, though it will be released in time for the Jan. 20 premiere of Red Tails, George Lucas’ cinematic tribute to the pioneering fighter pilots who distinguished themselves in combat over Europe in World War II, escorting bombers in P-51 Mustangs with red-painted tails. Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., one of the film’s stars, talked about Red Tails at AOPA Aviation Summit in September, relating contributions made to the film by actual Tuskegee Airmen, who joined the film crew on location. George Lucas, who is bankrolling a production reported to cost $93 million, acknowledged the contribution of Bryton Entertainment, a small production company that assembled historical footage and interviews with surviving Tuskegee Airmen to craft their documentary. Red Tails director Anthony Hemingway said the documentary provided the crew and actors with unique insight into the exploits of the 332nd Fighter Group.
“This film is an invaluable piece of American History that proved to be extremely helpful with research for the film ,” Hemingway said.