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Ichimai no hagaki (2010)

Toward the end of World War II, middle-aged soldier Keita is entrusted with a postcard from a comrade who is sure he will die in battle. After the war ends, Keita visits his comrade's wife ... See full summary »

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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Keita Matsuyama
Shinobu Ôtake ...
Tomoko Morikawa
Naomasa Musaka ...
Sadazo Morikawa
Akira Emoto ...
Yukichi Morikawa, the Father-in-Law
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Chiyo Morikawa, the Mother-in-Law
Yasuhito Ohchi ...
Sanpei Morikawa
Ren Ôsugi ...
Kichigoro Izumiya
Maiko Kawakami ...
Mie Matsuyama
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Riwemon, Matsuyama's Uncle
Moeko Ezawa ...
Matsuyama's Aunt
Hôka Kinoshita ...
Soldier A
Yasuhiro Ohara ...
Soldier B
Tokuko Watanabe
Asuka Hashimoto
Dai Watanabe ...
Officer
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Storyline

Toward the end of World War II, middle-aged soldier Keita is entrusted with a postcard from a comrade who is sure he will die in battle. After the war ends, Keita visits his comrade's wife Yuko and bears witness to the tragic life she has led. This year's Oscar entry from Japan finds SHINDO in top form and his 49th and reportedly last film as fresh and poignant as ever. Written by Nippon Connection Film Festival

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Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

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Release Date:

6 August 2011 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Pocztówka  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Japan's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Virulently anti-war polemic...formulaic in places, quirky, but heartfelt
2 June 2012 | by (Bloomington, IN) – See all my reviews

This was the last film of Kaneto Shindo, who died just a few days ago, age 100, and was known for such landmark films as Onibaba and Black Cat.

Shindo knew war...he was one of only six survivors of his 100-man unit in the Japanese navy during WWII. And as recounted in a recent obituary in the NY Times, he felt the weight of his 94 compatriots keenly, and sends them a final prayer in this last film of his.

The first third of the film is relentlessly grim. The Morikawa family is hit harder than most by the war: eldest son Sadazou is conscripted, and en route to the Philippines and certain death, receives a postcard from his wife Tomoko, but is unable to send her a meaningful response, due to strict censorship. He dies, his younger brother Sanpei is also conscripted and also dies, and the elderly father and mother die in short order, leaving Tomoko quite alone in a farmhouse by herself.

Before dying, however, Sadazou has asked a bunkmate to bring the postcard back to his wife if he does not return. This fellow, Matsuyama, has been betrayed by his wife and father, and when he finally brings the postcard to call on Tomoko, can only marvel at the latter's constancy in contrast.

A mooted move to Brazil and other unexpected plot twists keep the viewer guessing. Some humor is injected by a would-be paramour of Tomoko's. All in all, a film that brings home the pointless waste and enormous suffering inflicted by war.

The final takeaway: In the end, we bury our dead, we try to pay our respects, but we have to find our own way forward as best we can.


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