Tonarimachi Sensou (War Against Neighboring Town) is a fiction about Kitahara (Eguchi Yousuke), an ordinary employee of a traveling agency turning into a spy for his town's war against Town of Morimi, a neighboring town in a Dystopian society. Eguchi Yousuke did an excellent job portraying a confused man getting caught under the war. Harada Tomoyo was even more fantastic, with her almost machine-like gestures to portray her role of a blind/emotionless coordinator of the war.
I usually find these "cry for peace" films to be too corny for my tastes, and while this one does have its share of corniness, it was very well-executed and kept me interested for the entire duration of the movie. The movie begins with dark comedy, where the confused protagonist slowly grasp what is happening to his town and gets dragged into taking a "reconnaissance" duty and eventually escalates to becoming a full-time spy. The film then gradually gets more and more serious, presenting the audience with realities of war. I liked how this film openly questions many real elements of the war in humorous ways, such as "border lines being drawn", ambiguity of reasons for the war, responsibilities of participants and civilians, and justification of killing/casualty.
This film presents the social issue of wars from another perspective. I found it disturbing how simply downscaling countries to towns so clearly shows the absurdity in waging wars and killing each other. I guess most of us are completely oblivious to what's happening in the world.
I'm still skeptical about these Utopian ideas of a world without war, but it really challenged my values and prompted me to find out more about current events around the world. A life-altering film.
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