"For Those We Love" (2007)

..and why not?
User avatar
GoogaMooga
custodian of oldies
Posts: 30285
Joined: 28 Sep 2010, 05:23
Location: Denmark

"For Those We Love" (2007)

Postby GoogaMooga » 25 Oct 2023, 14:44

NOW WATCHING: "For Those We Love" -- (Taku Shinjo, 2007) -- It took 62 years for Japanese filmmakers to come to terms with the kamikaze suicide missions in the last stages of the Pacific War, and this feature film from Toei sparked controversy in Japan, as expected. The message of the film is universal and all too familiar: war is hell. But here the filmmakers try to put a human face on the young men who gave everything to save the nation's honor. "For Those We Love" is not so much about the insanity and evils of war, but rather it is a study of love, duty, and that ultimate sacrifice: human life for love of country, faith, and family. The kamikaze pilots' unflinching bravery and blind devotion is different from the soldiers who normally go into battle, for here there was only one outcome: the pilots were ordered not to return. It's all done with the stoicism that characterized Japanese society in the past, right down to the family farewells. Emotions are suppressed throughout, yet only come across as stronger when they are suggested. A sister cracks, a little brother runs after his elder brother's plane, and we realize there are victims on both sides. I remember the war veterans from my first stay in Tokyo, 1978-82. They could be found begging outside the back entrance of Shibuya Station - kneeling, uniformed, and largely ignored by the passers-by. The veterans were met with disdain by the Japanese people in the aftermath of the war, much like the returning Vietnam vets were in the US many years later. The film tries to redress that imbalance and give the dead their due respect, and it does so without glorifying or condemning. I don't know if it won any awards or has any festival citations, but I can't imagine it went down in the Asian markets. Still, I think it is altogether a better film than Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun", "Tora! Tora! Tora!", and what other few examples we have seen in the past that deal with this subject.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

Return to “Screenadelica”