Fires on the Plain (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, War


Fires on the Plain (1959) Poster

In the closing days of WWII remnants of the Japanese army in Leyte are abandoned by their command and face certain starvation.


8/10
4,188

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29 January 2000 | mrreindeer
10
| Sympathy for the Devils
Every American who thinks he or she understands World War Two should see this movie. Few Hollywood films about the war have defied the stereotype of Japanese soldiers as emotionless brutes obeying orders without thinking. We like to think that every Japanese man was ready and able to fight to the death, right up to the day we bombed Nagasaki. "Fires on the Plain" shows a different reality: troops pathetically undersupplied, demoralized and starved to the point of cannibalism. They euphemistically refer to human flesh as "monkey meat." The movie and novel on which it was based also put to death the myth that Japanese soldiers all preferred death to surrender: They had good reason to believe that their enemies were in no mood to take prisoners. To me it raises a question most Americans would rather avoid: If the Japanese military was so beaten down at this point in the war, why was it necessary to nuke Hiroshima?

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