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The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester among his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honor, courage, and horrors beyond imagination. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The story of Lt. Ito strapping mines to himself and lying among corpses to attack a tank is based on the real-life story of Satoru Omagiri, as told in "The Rising Sun" by John Toland. See more »
The artillery shell landing near Saigo when he empties the stinky bucket does not exhibit rifling marks on its driving band. Any shell fired through a rifled barrel would show these, therefore this projectile had never been fired from a gun. See more »
The film hits in almost every aspect, except it misses in
the entertainment aspect.
While "Letters from Iwo Jima" is truly a great achievement is several
ways, the script is powerful, the production is superb, all the
technical departments almost perfected their jobs, there is some really
good acting as well, and Eastwood's touch as a director is very
visible, and its beautiful, it flaws almost flawlessly in this regard.
Well, what's wrong then? It simply lacks what makes it a really
interesting movie. "Letters" starts with a present day scene of
excavators digging up remains of the war in Iwo Jima, and finding
letters in a cave that were written by Japanese soldiers and officers
during the war on Iwo Jima island, it then travels back in time to WWII
and story revolves around those whom their letters were found during
the dawn of the American invasion on that island. Slowly, the movie
loses its grip over its audience, becoming something closer to an audio
book, and survival becomes a repetitive process!!!
Everyone seem to be praising the film for being told from the other
side, and its true you don't see that many American film makers do
that, and although the film didn't just speak Japanese, it lived and
breathed Japanese, it couldn't escape the limited framework of
Hollywood, this is very visible through the "good" characters, all the
good, honest or lovable Japanese characters were either American
sympathizers who lived in the US for a while and kept saying how a
great nation the US is, or are Japanese people that do not care for the
Imperial system and would not mind handing over the island to their
rival Americans. On the other hand, all Japanese loyalists were mean
American haters. Even the resolution of the strict Imperial soldiers
was that the Americans were not as evil as they were told. But still,
everyone was very fond of the fact that the movie was told completely
from a Japanese point of view. However, just because Eastwood is an
American film maker making a Japanese-point-of-view movie, doesn't make
the film any better than what it really is, the film's ratings seem to
be getting higher just because there is an American film maker behind
it and I disagree, it is what it is regardless who the people behind it
The film was also highly praised as a companion film to "Flags", and
while together they form a great duo, on its own, "Letters" does not
Why did Eastwood and Spielberg decide to make "Letters from Iwo Jima"
this calm instead of making an adrenaline-pumping film? My guess is
that they did not care about the average audience and the commercial
success as much as they did care for the story's integrity.
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