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Features Four Frames

Rebirth and reconciliation in Kon Ichikawa’s The Burmese Harp

After the capitulation of the Empire of Japan on 15 August 1945, Private Mizushima (Shoji Yasui) does not join the rest of his former unit in a British prisoner-of-war-camp in the Burmese countryside but becomes a Buddhist monk. The story of the young soldier who decides to stay in Burma after the war in order […]

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Features Thousand Words

How The Human Condition ignited my passion for Japanese cinema

I began 2016 by watching a lot of Masaki Kobayashi. It was a year that year marked both the centenary of his birth, and the 20th anniversary of his death. My aim was to deepen my knowledge of his work, and to pay homage to a filmmaker I greatly admire by writing articles in which […]

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Features Thousand Words

Thousand Words: Affirming Human Dignity (Samurai Rebellion, 1967)

Masaki Kobayashi’s whole oeuvre is marked by his lifelong preoccupation with the complex relationship between the individual and society, the longing for freedom, and the struggle against oppression. Both as a member of the Japanese Imperial Army (the pacifist Kobayashi was posted to Manchuria during World War II) and as an artist, the filmmaker resisted […]