In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honour and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of commiting suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor.
|Release Date||:||May 23, 1983|
|Production Company||:||National Film Trustee Company|
|Production Countries||:||New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia|
|Writers||:||Nagisa Ōshima, Paul Mayersberg, Laurens Van der Post|
|Casts||:||David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning, Yûji Honma|
|Plot Keywords||:||japan, samurai, world war ii, prisoners of war, soldier|
I have to applaud and second the reviewer who gives this film 10/10 and who thinks the current 6.9 average must be a result of many people not watching to the end. I think it's the result of many viewers not appreciating the art, subtlety, and deeply UNnationalistic message. In a country rife with jingoism, the message that no one is "right" when waging war (and especially commiting atrocity)will not be especially popular. After living three years in Japan, I can understand how American (and indeed Western)independence and confidence can be perceived as(and even sometimes are)arrogance and ethonocentricity.
The movie looks at what it means to be human and afraid. It examines how shame and cowardice haunt most men of noble heart. It reveals our commonalities to be undeniably more powerful and real than our transitory differences. It shows how truly stupid man must be to perpetuate the horrors of warfare and to mar his soul by using power to hurt others.
It's a 10/10 in my book, but realistically speaking, if most people agreed, well, there wouldn't be any grist for this mill.