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letters from iwo jima

 – ★★★★★

Yaiii…I just watched a WAR movie today! think it’s a big progress, eh? :p

Well actually I just caught up watching this movie while searching for a good quality or at least worth-watching program on tv.  Need to look twice before I eventually watch it, tho’ hubs keep saying “It is a good movie!”.  Sorry hubs, war is never in my book.  Ah well, I watched it anyway. This movie gave me two reasons why I should be interested. First, it’s taken from the Japanese point of view & therefore, speaks Japanese. The other is because Clint Eastwood directed it. He’s a good actor & now a good director. Most of his movies are talking about human being, see through our humanity perspective. Which is nice.

Letters From Iwo Jima opened by a scene where couples of Japan archaeologist find a hidden bag beneath the sands of Iwo Jima. Inside the bag is countless letters from late soldiers who fought to defense the island until their last breath. Then story change to where a young man named Saigo, formerly own a bakery, was designated as a soldier to Iwo Jima. Despite his wife is being pregnant and alone, he went on to fight with faith of going back. Unlike another soldiers in the scene, he was easily recognize for being frighten almost everytime. Saigo, a thin, naive and awkward looking young soldier were never considered as important. Especially after he and his friend commented that Iwo Jima should be hand-over to US instead to spare many of Japanese soldier. This act alone caused them to be punished.

Rest of the movie depict images about their effort to survive both US army arrivals and their own rigid custom. This custom, as exemplified in a scene where their General, Tadamichi Kuribayashi, order his subordinates to build tunnels for defense. His subordinates thought this strategy to be a betrayal of bushido. A manner where soldiers were supposed to fight bravely even until death comes upon them in any circumstances. However, with help from Nishi, the tunnels was built. At the end of the fight, when Japanese soldiers are fed with sanitary & malnutrition problem while US army facing ahead…Kuribayashi order his men to retreat to north tunnels. But his subordinate colonel Adachi, refused and said it is a cowardly move. Instead, he deliver order to his subordinates at the Suribachi Mountain to commit suicide. After few incident, Saigo managed to survive and meet with other soldiers, which also lead to another heart-breaking incident.

Letters from Iwo Jima itself is a bag of letters written by Saigo’s friends before they commit suicide. Also letters from neighboring garrison. Saigo was told to kept the bag hidden in the sand so that US army won’t find it. After watching it, I can’t hold my tears up. Every scene was touching and filled with personal attachment. It’s also different from it’s predecessor, Flag of Our Fathers, which tells the same war from US point of view. By the end, I never did regret watching this war movie. Even still remember when Saigo stand between his comrade’s dead bodies feeling frighten. I thought Kazunari Ninomiya play Saigo well, despite knowing him as Kei Kurono in Gantz..I almost believe he was there in the war experiencing all…This movie is a movie worth watching and watching again..and again…only for the sake to keep us aware that war, whatever it’s purpose will only cause despair..

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