The U.S. dollar bill is obviously contemporary, featuring the post-1969 design and the signatures of Mary Ellen Withrow and Lawrence H. Summers (Treasurer and Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration). See more »
"Gengaku no tame no Requiem"
Written by Tôru Takemitsu
Conducted by Hiroshi Wakasugi
Performed by Yomiuri Nippon Koukyougakudaan See more »
This film was financed mostly if not completely by a German TV Network and was produced to be aired in more than one showings. Because of this the film seems to be a bit too long when seen in one session. The slow and overly posed acting becomes unnatural, never mind the fastidious obsession about superfluous details to fill the lack of content in many scenes. Visually is gorgeous if you like that kind of nostalgic images of objects and fashions: every body dresses as a designer model.
This historical film is more political in its intentions than historical. It is precisely because it is addressed to a German audience that its anti-communist message over-shadows Dr. Sorge spies exploits, his warning to Stalin that Nazi Germany would attack the Soviet Union on 20 June 1941, that Japan will not attack the Soviet Union in Manchuria but instead will attack Pearl Harbor in November 1941 seems to matter little to director Masahiro Shinoda. One wonders how a German audience may have received this film with the explicit message that the man who contributed to Hitler's military defeat in the East did so because he was a confused idealist.
Akira Kurosawa' s "No Regrets for our Youth" (1946) addressed part of this drama from the Japanese side. Kurosawa's views on idealism are or at least were at the time very different from Shinoda's. But of course we should never forget that history has to be judged in its context and 57 years can blur history in more than one country.
The movie should be interesting for an American audience. Even Miss Agnes Smedly appears in Shanghai and given the fact Miss Smedly is all but almost completely forgotten in America, except as feminist, the film brings a small but essential bit of American idealism to Dr. Richard Sorge's spy ring.
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