From the director of the terrific "Japan's Longest Day", this is an ambitious documentary-styled recreation of the battle for Okinawa, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians were abandoned by the Japanese military in order to better protect the mainland. The soldiers fortified themselves in caves and fended of an overwhelming American attack over a period of several months. Unfortunately, the filmmaker's talents don't match their ambitions. "Japan's Longest Day" was a fascinating film written by Shinobu Hashimoto about a little known military revolt at the end of the war. Okinawa is dramatically inept with misplaced bits of humor, and the crowd scenes never number more than 50, making it seem far less epic than it purports to be. The photography is bland and the blood very fake. The desperation never seeps in like it should, but the film does a good job of showing what they went through. It also shows that when the going gets tough, the Japanese commit suicide - according to this film it must have been the leading cause of death. The events depicted are similar to "Sands of Iwo Jima" - so if you like that you might like this. Okinawa is still occupied by American forces. Script by Kaneto Shindo ("Onibaba").
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