Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
  • Time: 141 min
  • Genre: Drama | History | War
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Shido Nakamura, Tsuyoshi Ihara


The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester among his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honor, courage, and horrors beyond imagination.

One comment

  • This film and companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers (2006) is one of the more technical films on this list. Although it does have a message that war is futile, it tends more to focus on people that overarching themes. More than Flags of Our Fathers, it focuses on the Battle of Iwo Jima, rather than the aftermath and impact the battle had on the overall war.

    The movie follows three main characters. Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) is a lowly baker conscripted to the war, General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), who has been assigned command of the island, and Ryô Kase), a former elite commando who has been sent to the island of Iwo Jima as punishment. These men provide narration in the form of letters sent home to their loved ones.

    This is a much more technical film than Flags of Our Fathers. Rather than push some message about war and how bad it is, it presents a depiction of how a battle took place, complete with specific references to troop movements and numbers. That doesn’t mean this film doesn’t have an emotional core to it. Instead, I feel like I can connect to the human fears of that are felt during battle and war in general.

    Check out this review and more at http://www.thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au

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