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The Sea and Poison (1986)
"Umi to dokuyaku" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  22 July 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 103 users  
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Downed American fliers in WW II are vivisected by Japanese surgeons in medical experiments.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Credited cast:
Eiji Okuda ...
Professor Hashimoto
Ohba, Head Nurse
Mikio Narita ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shigeru Kôyama ...
Toshie Negishi ...
Ueda, Nurse
Ken Nishida ...
Masumi Okada ...
Noriko Sengoku ...
Old woman
Kazunaga Tsuji ...
Masane Tsukayama ...


Downed American fliers in WW II are vivisected by Japanese surgeons in medical experiments.

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Release Date:

22 July 1987 (USA)  »

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The Sea and Poison  »

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User Reviews

A stunning adaptation of a brilliant novel.
29 August 2015 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

This film involves the vivisection of American prisoners by the Japanese during WWII for the purpose of medical research. It is based on a brief and chilling novel by Shusaku Endo, and it is one of the best book-to-film adaptations I have ever seen. The story is told in flashbacks as various doctors and nurses involved are interrogated by the Americans. This structure differs from Endo's novel, but it works well. Each character reacts to what they've done differently. The stark black-and-white imagery and decaying, industrial look of the hospital brings to mind 'Eraserhead,' oddly enough. Kumai was able to bring the novel to life precisely as I had imagined it while reading it -- so well, in fact, it is uncanny. I felt as though I'd seen the film before, but realised I had only 'seen' the images in my head while reading the book. Although relentlessly bleak, this is an absolute masterpiece of a film, doing justice to a brilliant novel. 10/10.

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