July, 1943: Japan's army is on the run. A platoon in Burma sings to keep its spirit up. Inspiration comes from their self taught lute player, Mizushima. At war's end, while they await repatriation at Mudon prison camp, Mizushima is sent to convince a Japanese company dug into a mountain that it must surrender. He fails, the British attack, many die, and his companions fear he's been killed. However, he has survived and disguised himself as a Buddhist priest. En route to Mudon to join his comrades, the frequent sight of dead Japanese soldiers overwhelms him. He vows to live a life of prayer, burying bones and bodies; his friends want him to return with them to Japan. Written by
Did You Know?
According to the Bloomsbury Foreign Film Guide by Ronald Bergan and Robyn Karney, this World War II film was "one of the first Japanese films concerned with pacifist themes related to the defeat of Japan in 1945." See more
The modern harp (with its pedal changes and its consequent ability to make changes of harmony, in particular)that is played throughout on the film's soundtrack does not match the much more basic instrument shown in the film. See more
The songs uplifted our spirits and sometimes our hearts.
Remade as The Burmese Harp
(Traditional Japanese Farewell Song) See more