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The true story of Agnes Newton Keith's imprisonment in several Japanese prisoner-of-war camps from 1941 to the end of WWII. Separated from her husband and with a young son to care for she has many difficulties to face.Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
A 'Life' magazine article in 20 March 1950 states that there is more of a sympathetic portrayal in this film of the Colonel Suga (Sessue Hayakawa) character than compared with his depiction in the source memoir by Agnes Newton Keith. The article states that Suga saved Keith's husband Harry and was kind-hearted to their children. Paradoxically though, Agnes Newton Keith also hated Suga for the starvation, torture and degradation that he inflicted in the prisoner-of-war camp. See more »
Colonel Suga says he attended the University of Washington for four years and Agnes reveals that she attended Berkeley. Suga goes on to say that Cal "murdered" Washington's football team. However, Tatsugi Suga arrived at Washington in 1924 and during the next four seasons California never defeated Washington. Only one football game would fit Suga's description: a 33-0 loss in 1933. See more »
Agnes Newton Keith:
Six-degrees north of the Equator, in the heart of the East Indies, lies Sandakan, the tiny capital of British North Borneo. In Sandakan in 1941, there were 15 thousand Asiatics, 79 Europeans, and 1 American. I was the American. My name is Agnes Keith. I was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. My husband is Harry Keith, a colonial official of British North Borneo. Borneo became my home when Harry and I were married. And it was in ...
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This movie probably could not have been made during the war or immediately afterwards because although the Japanese are definitely bad in the film, they are not one-dimensional and Sessue Hayakawa plays a Japanese Commandant that is believable and not 100% wicked or sex-crazed. Instead, this is a compelling true story of a woman who is interred in a camp for the duration of the war and her relationship with the commandant. The commandant is NOT typical of many ultra-brutal and inhumane camp leaders and tries to treat the detainees firmly but reasonably. While they never become best friends (that would be creepy and ridiculous), over time, she was able to see and appreciate his humanity. In fact, over time, both began to find things to respect about the other. A fascinating look at history and the people who lived through it.
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