Philosophy of a Knife (2008)

Not Rated  |  Video  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  8 July 2008 (USA)
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The true history of Japanese Unit 731, from its beginnings in the 1930s to its demise in 1945, and the subsequent trials in Khabarovsk, USSR, of many of the Japanese doctors from Unit 731. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tetsuro Sakagami ...
The Officer #1
Tomoya Okamoto ...
The Officer #2
Yukari Fujimoto ...
The Female Nurse #1
Manoush ...
The Female Nurse #1 (voice)
Yumiko Fujiwara ...
The Female Nurse #2
Masaki Kitagava ...
The Female Nurse #3
Reiko Niakawa ...
The Female Nurse #4
Elena Romanova Probatova ...
The Favorite Girl (as Elena Probatova)
Tatyana Kopeykina ...
The Blond Girl with Toy Bear
Veronika Leonova ...
The Brunette Girl
Irina Nikitina ...
The Pregnant Girl
Dmitriy Skripnik ...
The Captured Airplane Pilot
Alyona Strebkova ...
The Dental Torture Girl
Vladimir Volodin ...
The Syphilis Experiment Man
Irina Zenkina ...
The Syphilis Experiment Girl


The true history of Japanese Unit 731, from its beginnings in the 1930s to its demise in 1945, and the subsequent trials in Khabarovsk, USSR, of many of the Japanese doctors from Unit 731. The facts are told, and previously unknown evidence is revealed by an eyewitness to these events, former doctor and military translator, Anatoly Protasov. Part documentary and part feature, the story is shown from the perspective of a young Japanese nurse who witnessed many of horrors, and a young Japanese officer who is torn between his sincere convictions that he is serving the greater purpose, and the deep sympathy he feels for an imprisoned Russian girl. His life is a living hell as he's compelled to carry out atrocious experiments on the other prisoners, using them as guinea pigs in this shocking tale of mankind's barbarity. "Philosophy of a Knife" is truly one of the most violent, brutal and harrowing movies ever made. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


God created heaven, man created hell


Drama | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

8 July 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy kés filozófiája  »

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Technical Specs


(Unrated Director's Cut)

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Did You Know?


Narrations for film were recorded in Birmingham (Great Britain) and New Rochelle (USA). See more »


Dead Before Born
Lyrics by Andrey Iskanov and Manoush
Music by Chris Vazquez
Performed by Cyanide Savior
Courtesy of NRC Music/Entertainment
played in the end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

An Astounding Masterpiece!
29 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As soon as I heard about this film I snagged a copy and watched it in all it's atrocious glory! I love Iskanov's work and I knew that he would do an incredible job with this subject.

I had seen other films about Unit 731 and had been unimpressed. They always seemed to come off campy or simply lacked the seriousness of the subject. Iskanov's film does the subject justice and then some (but the film is not overdone...all 4-1/2 hours of it).In fact Iskanov captures the true horror of it all by simply reducing it to what it is...torture. Iskanov, although known for his visual sensory overload (in a good way), shows the restraint and control of a world-class director.

There aren't a whole lot of films made about the atrocities of Japanese unit 731 and this one is not likely to be topped.

Watch this film with caution as it will change your life, if even just slightly.

18 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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