Letters from Iwo Jima – Surprised me

Letters from Iwo JimaLetters from Iwo Jima by Clint Eastwood on CanalSat (TCM)
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.


This is the second of the two films about Iwo Jima that Client Eastwood produced and directed. You might wonder why I watched this film when I was less than thrilled with the first one, Flags of our Fathers? Well, since I had watched the first one it would be a shame not to watch the second one if for nothing else so to get the “whole picture”. In any case, if all you watched was movies that you thought you would really like you would never evolve your experience and tastes would you?

It is perhaps somewhat surprising but I liked this film better than the first one. I felt it was more a story of brave men fighting to the bitter end for their country compared to the first one which focused way too much about (bad) politics back home in America. I am tempted to say it is a kind of a Japanese “Alamo”.

The film sure played on some stereotypes of the Japanese, especially the “honor obliges” suicide stuff. I am really wondering how much of this that was really part of the true story and how much was artistic freedom. I mean, how much could they really deduce from these letters that they apparently found? The scenes where they popped themselves off one by one with grenades felt rather surreal to me. If you wanted to die rather than flee or be captured then would it not have been better to charge the enemy? At least you might have taken a few of them with you.

The bottom line is that I found the movie quite okay. It feels somewhat wrong to use words like entertaining or enjoyed given then nature of the film but I did certainly get more out of this movie evening than the one with Flags of our Fathers.

My Movie Collection

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