Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1956 - THE BURMESE HARP a good anti war film

Kon Ichikawa filmed this thoughtful film about the end of World War II and how death profoundly affects one of the soldiers who has surrendered to the Allies. 

After witnessing the deaths of a company of Japanese soldiers who refuse to surrender to the Allies after the war, the Japanese private Mizushima,  steals a Buddhist monk's robes. While wandering around the countryside he has a spiritual crisis which results in his decision to stay in Burma and bury the bodies of all the dead Japanese soldiers laying around there.

The film has beautiful black and white photography, particularly of the temples and the landscape of the country.  It's a very well made film.

The Burmese Harp is kind of a product of it's time. The antiwar theme is really hammered into the audience in that 1950's kind of way. and the film has a lot of sentimentality throughout. Still in spite or maybe because of this approach it's a very moving film. 

A quiet sense of resigned sadness about the aftermath of war and death  hangs over the film which probably could have only come out of a country that had payed a big  price in the loss of life during World War II.

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