Online Presentations: Sunday, July 5, 2 p.m., and Monday, July 6, 2 p.m.
Hosted by Fourth Wall Films and the Putnam Museum & Science Center
Treating viewers to a pair of free online screenings in honor of this year's Independence Day, Moline's Fourth Wall Films company and Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center team up to present the moving, historical, locally themed documentary A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street, its July 5 and 6 showings celebrating the life and experiences a true war hero from Silvis, Illinois.
The protagonist of A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street, William Sandoval spent his youth surviving the great depression in Silvis, Illinois. His family lived in a boxcar while his father worked for the Rock Island Railroad, and when the railroad drifted into bankruptcy in 1933, Willie joined his parents and siblings in the beet and onion fields of Iowa and Minnesota. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, motivated Willie and many others to enlist in the military, and at age 20, the young man completed his training and was assigned to Co. F, 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
After initial and extended combat action in Italy, Willie’s unit reformed in England. In September 1944, he became part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden. In the wake of the successful D-Day operation, and with an opportunity to take advantage of weakened German forces, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s plan, was for British and allied forces to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands, creating a path to strike at the heart of Germany. The largest air assault in history launched 2,023 troop transport planes and 478 gliders from 24 airfields carrying a total of 45,000 men. The day after his 21st birthday, Willie was one of 20,000 paratroopers who leaped into the sky over German-occupied Holland.
A recently acclaimed documentary by area filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle, A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street tells the dramatic story of World War II paratrooper Sandoval, with authors John McManus (September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far), Marc Wilson (Hero Street, U.S.A: The Story of Little Mexico’s Fallen Soldiers), and Willie’s family members and friends appearing in the film. Hero Street also features original art by Davenport's Bruce Walters and acoustic-guitar music by Joe Soliz, whose great uncle Carlo is one of the original Hero Street Eight – the war veterans (six of whom fought in World War II, two of whom fought in Korea) who all initially hailed from the same block-and-a-half-long street in Silvis.
A Bridge Too Far from Hero Street will be streaming on July 5 at 2 p.m. and on July 6 at 7 p.m., and the Sunday screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle. Viewers are also invited to visit the movies 10 minutes prior to their presentation for their official introductions, and the film can be seen at HeroStreetMovie.com and Facebook.com/HeroStreetMovie.