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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
The group of women from different countries and social levels are prisoners in a Japanese POW camp, where one of them, Adrienne, who is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, organizes a vocal band in spite of their guards resistance. Written by
When the film ends, the war has ended. In reality, as the closing statement mentions, the women did not leave the P.O.W camp for another two weeks, as Alllied soldiers did not arrive at the the Belalau internment camp (the most remote of them all) until a fortnight after the end of the war. At this time, they were taken to Singapore and Sumatra where they received medical treatment and after that they returned to their various homes. See more »
An early night scene of the women swimming ashore (set in the week after 10 February 1942) shows the full moon. The moon was between last quarter and new moon that week. See more »
I love this movie because I love the characterization of the women in it. I felt powerfully with the women, felt I knew them, felt complete identification with most of them.
I actually think it's hard to specify the actions and words that will make a character both realistic and sympathetic. Showing mere suffering won't do it. But here, Mr. Beresford has been able to stir such warm feelings (particularly toward the Roberts girl, the Glenn Close and Jennifer Ehle, her Dutch friend, and the Cate Blanchett characters). The romanticism, cheer and background of the Ehle character are particularly well drawn.
This is a far superior movie to 'Platoon', by the way - and a wonderful tribute to those who went through the awful 3.5 year ordeal.
Another thing I quite liked (these days) was to see a movie that did not attempt to make the Caucasians the moral villain relative to the other race depicted.
This is not a movie concerned with p.c. appearances - the Japanese are not shown as somehow merely "different", a difference we "simply cannot understand or judge" because of our different culture. Setting a woman on fire for bargaining for medicine for a sick elderly woman is brutality in any culture - and this movie does not attempt to minimize the moral wrong.
Bravo, Mr. Beresford.
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