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The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

Ningen no jôken (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 5 August 1970 (USA)
His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Kôichi Inagaki (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Kaji
Michiyo Aratama ... Michiko
Tamao Nakamura Tamao Nakamura ... Hinannmin no Shôjo
Yûsuke Kawazu ... Terada Nitôhei
Chishû Ryû ... Hinanmin no Chôrô
Taketoshi Naitô Taketoshi Naitô ... Tange Ittôhei
Kyôko Kishida ... Ryûko
Reiko Hitomi Reiko Hitomi ... Umeko
Keijirô Morozumi Keijirô Morozumi ... Hironaka Gôchô
Kôji Kiyomura Kôji Kiyomura ... Hikita Ittôhei
Nobuo Kaneko ... Kirihara Gôchô
Fujio Suga Fujio Suga ... Nagata Taii
Tatsuya Ishiguro ... Dôkutsu Taichô
Kazuo Kitamura Kazuo Kitamura ... Kitagô Sôchô
Toshio Takahara Toshio Takahara ... Chôsen e Iku Heichô
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Storyline

Part three of a trilogy. After the Japanese defeat to the Russians in the last episode, Kaji, the Japanese soldier and humanistic protagonist, leads the last remaining men through Manchuria. Intent on returning to his dear wife and his old life, Kaji faces great odds in a variety of different harrowing circumstances as he and his fellow men sneak behind enemy lines. Ultimately, he finds himself in the exact opposite position he held in the first episode: Then a labor manager, Kaji is now a prisoner of war, forced to work for the Russians, who do not seem to hold to the Communist ideals in which Kaji himself had put his faith. Written by nao209@nyu.edu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Mandarin | Russian

Release Date:

5 August 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ninjin Club, Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Is the first Japanese movie in stereo. See more »

Connections

Follows The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
devastating brutality
15 June 2018 | by overdarklordSee all my reviews

The third and final part of "The Human Condition" series is the most brutal, breathtaking and deeply disturbing movie of the three. All the beating you saw in the second part cant even come close to how physically, but especially psychologically brutal and disturbing this movie can be. This movie ultimatly playes with the idea that no matter how much of a good person you are, which in the case of our main protagonist, Kaji was shown throughout the last 2 movies, you will always been judged by steriotypes and clichee rather than on your actions and what you have been going through. Is it right to torture and treat people the same way they treated others, even if they have been forced by the military and the zeitgeist of the moment? Is it morally justifiable? This is something everyone has to answer for themself, this movie just shows you this idea in an objective manner not really taking any sides.

With watching this series Masaki Kobayashi, finally made the case for him being the best japanese director of the last century in my opinion. And it also made the case for Tatsuya Nakadai being the best actor of the last century. The emotions this man can convey with this performance by far surpass anything I have seen from any other japanese actor of the last century. The character development Kaji endured throughout the series but especially through this final part was written perfectly and absolutely believably portrayed.


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