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maximillion666 (Offline)
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Letters From Iwo Jima - 03-12-2008, 01:10 PM

Letters from Iwo Jima

Hi, im doing a project for film A2 at college on the representation of conflict in ww2 films. im looking for peoples opinions on the following questions. Please state your nationality and then answer these-
-what do you make of a Hollywood film maker using an ''enemy'' point of view?does it work?why?
-do you still feel hatred towards the Japanses soldiers (if you are british or american) or has your hatred switched?
-does this film give a bias view?
-is there a sense oif trying to create an equal view over the both allies?
-can these types of films influence you views on war?
-what did you find most exciting/good about this film?

little and long answers will be both appreciated, thanks!
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03-12-2008, 10:46 PM

i'll help you out:

1. I don't really think of it as the enemy point of you, because for Germans, Italians, Japanese etc watching US made war films about WW2 are always portraying the 'enemy' as their own country. I just see it as a perspective from one side. So for me it makes no difference if the movie is from the winning or losing sides perspective as long as it is well made. i just hope if for example americans are making a movie from the german or japanese point of view that it would tell a story similar to how those countries people might tell the story themselves, rather than the movie glorifying the US and belittling the other nation.

2. why did you say "if you are british or american" lets not forget that many other nations were affected by the pacific war. Australia, my country is never remembered for all the work they did and losses felt (more than 10% of that of US). England wasn't much good except for losing singapore to the Japanese. What about any members of this forum from asia who had their country invaded, are they not able to feel hatred?

As for an answer, what point is there to feeling anger at an entire nation of people? those who took part in that war are either dead or not far from it as they would be pretty old now. They have in reality no impact on the modern country of Japan and those growing up now are not responsible for the acts that took place. I would feel angry only to those who commanded the war not those who were slept under the propaganda etc

3. I saw it soon after it was released so i don't have a vivid memory of the movie but i don't remember there being any great bias and i feel the story was told well.

4. are you meaning equal feeling over both sides in the war? I think the movie is simply trying to tell things from a Japanese perspective, whether that makes people feel things are equal after watching the two movies is another thing. i think it is always important for any good story to have both sides, then you can find a middle ground to understand it all better.

5. these movies don't influence my view of war at all, perhaps they did when i was young but I'm unaware of that. no matter how terrible (not in quality) a war movie is i stand by the fact that i would go to war and fight if that is what it had come to.

6. I didn't really find the movie exciting, but i enjoyed just seeing the story told by Japanese with the polish of hollywood. Not many movies leave me wanting to watch them again, especially not action movies, and this is not one of them. It was enjoyable and i liked that they also showed Americans doing bad acts like killing prisoners.
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03-13-2008, 01:15 AM

As you may, or may not know, Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima is a companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers. Eastwood was a teenager in World War II. I'm sure he most likely felt, like many other Americans at the time, that the Japanese were a vile race that must be stopped at any cost.

They say, "With age comes wisdom" and it appears that somewhere Eastwood came to a conclusion. "No country enters into war, believing they are wrong." Each side fights to justify what they believe to be right.

When viewed as a whole, the battlefield is only sorrow. Things like good, evil, fear and courage, have little meaning in the grand scheme of things. There are only men. Each one of them is a victim in his or her on way.

Personally I was very happy he directed this movie. Maybe if more men could view from all sides, things like war would become a distant memory.

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03-18-2008, 02:36 AM

What a neat project! I loved this film...and am American, by the way.^^

1. I think it was about time for a sympathetic film from the Japanese perspective. When many veterans are still living, memories are still too painful for anything beyond Bridge on the River Kwai, for example. That war is history now; Japan is a close ally. It's good to look back with humility at what happened, from the perspective of both sides. That's why I think it works. People are most ready to sympathize when the hurt is (mostly) gone.

2. No, I do not feel hatred towards Japanese soldiers. My grandfather served on the Pacific side of things during that war and was very affected by it—he could never talk about it later because he’d break down in tears. And he wasn’t even on the ground, but worked on a ship. I just feel sad when I hear stories about the war. My family's really come full-circle: my grandfather spent his youth fighting the Japanese, now I spend mine learning the Japanese language out of love for the culture.^^

3. I think it was pretty balanced as far as showing both sides. The Japanese soldiers weren’t fanatical apes, but neither were they sainted heroes. They were just men (the film was kinda cliché that way but I loved it anyway:P). I was a bit shocked at the actions of the American soldiers toward the POW…the atrocities shown on the Japanese side all had cultural explanations (though not excuses), but killing someone who’s clearly surrendered is totally against every ideal of the West at war. Especially at that time in history. But on the whole, I think it was ok. It just showed that war can bring out either the very best or very worst in people, regardless of what side you’re on.

4. Not sure I understand the question…^^;

5. Sometimes, I think war movies influence what I think about war—they affect me emotionally much more than a history book does.^^ More than anything though, they show me what the current audience/public thinks about war (i.e., a war movie from the 50’s will have quite a different take on the subject than a modern one).

5. That the main character didn’t die.:P I really liked Ken Watanabe’s portrayal of General Kuribayashi…he was perfect for the role. Anyone wanting to know more of Kuribayashi (a truly great leader, I think) should read So Sad to Fall in Battle by Kakehashi Kumiko, a biography and run-down of the Battle of Iwo Jima gathered from Kuribayashi's letters.

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To fuyu no koyuki
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03-18-2008, 02:43 AM

ok heres my honest reply - THIS WAS THE MOST BORING FILM I WATCHED IN MY LIFE !!

so i am sorry but i cannot apply your questions to it ! however reading about the film prior to watching it it seems that eastwood was trying to give an equal view.

i tell you what i sis watch though - BROTHERHOOD OF WAR !! - a korean film i think about two brothers......GOD DAMN I LOVED THAT FILM !!

The things that come to those who wait are the things that are left by those who got there first !
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03-15-2012, 07:48 AM

The thread that has been shared with all of us is good and i really liked it.
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