The film, set in 1944, follows Jack, a WWI veteran, whose lost hopes and values lead to isolation and an empty feeling that is too hard to shake. This solitude abruptly ends when he meets ...
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The film, set in 1944, follows Jack, a WWI veteran, whose lost hopes and values lead to isolation and an empty feeling that is too hard to shake. This solitude abruptly ends when he meets Masaru, an escaped Japanese POW. Suddenly Jack shows the first sign in many years of not giving in to death. Learning of a mass suicide breakout from the POW camp nearby, Jack and rifle march Masaru back to camp. None of this is new to Masaru, for him, death is constantly just around the corner. Both men understand that war is not a simple question of good versus evil but there are rules to which each man must act. Jack shows little compassion for Masaru and speaks freely about his thoughts on the Japanese. When pushed too far Masaru lashes back, revealing a will to fight and a fool in Jack. He can understand English. But it's not long before Jack finds solace in the fact that he is not alone. They are, after all, just two men in different uniforms talking to each other. Eventually a hint of ...Written by
I have seen BROKEN SUN at a preview recently, as it opens in Australia for Anzac Day April 25. It is set in 1944 when a group of Japanese soldiers held in a P.O.W. prison in rural Australia decide to escape. This is a true event and is covered in the George Miller film THE COWRA BREAKOUT. In BROKEN SUN one young Japanese soldier ends up hiding in the remote hilltop farm of a lonely farmer, a man who fought and never recovered from WW1 in 1917. It is a great premise for a drama, a rural dream/nightmare captured in astonishing photography, some of it really un nerving as the Aussie bush can be even in the day when you might be disoriented. This is a small film but one that will translate to the cinema-going population of many generations because it is about being human, being lost, afraid and being lonely. It succeeds on all fronts and is a great quiet almost melancholy piece about young men in and after war. Two 'escapees' / soldiers / men in the forest or on an island or on the run has been done a few times before in US movies, but this Australian film is the most humane and visually breathtaking I have seen of this theme. I hope it does well and if it comes to any film festival near you, run to see it. You will be astonished. There is even one alarming scene that reminded me of the 1931 Frankenstein movie where the 'monster' encounters a little girl... in this film it translates into a farm verandah. In Australia The Cowra Breakout story is regarded with high emotion as in 1944 those Japanese soldiers killed or who took their own lives, were given a full military funeral; there is even a memorial garden in the town of Cowra to this day. They were considered very brave to have attempted what they did and as a result it is honored. This film has that tone. Many soldiers who escaped fell into an emotional void when they realized they could not return to Japan as escapees because it meant such dishonor; as a result they suicided in the Australian bush. BROKEN SUN addresses these dilemmas in a neatly beautiful and emotional way that deserves applause everywhere it screens. A very well made film about a very sad but compelling topic... and an event on the Australian calendar of significant historic importance that reflects our emotional image as a Nation.
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