Windtalkers is a 2002 American war film directed and produced by John Woo, starring Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, Mark Ruffalo, and Christian Slater. The film was released in the United States on June 14, 2002.
In the close quarters and brutal fighting of the World War II, the Americans needed to find a secure method of communicating they devised a code using the Navajo language. Enlisted into the Marine Corps are several “Windtalkers” who are deployed to frontline areas in the Pacific, to use their language as an impossible-to-crack secret code.
Marine Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage) is assigned to protect Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) – a Navajo code talker. His orders are to prevent the code talker from falling into the hands of the Japanese, even if it means killing him. While Enders is initially frustrated with his assignment, his respect grows as the codetalkers prove their worth in the brutal battle to take Saipan.
Against the backdrop of the horrific Battle of Saipan, when capture is imminent, Enders is forced to make a decision: if he can’t protect his fellow Marine, can he bring himself to kill him to protect the code?
While telling the story of the Battle of Saipan in graphic detail, director John Woo also enlightens us about the Navajo, their essential role in winning the War in the Pacific, and their tragic sacrifices in the process. Woo also forces us to see the cost of waging war upon our humanity. He makes the war personal.