SKU 5332

3 DVD SET: THE HUMAN CONDITION (1959/61) * with switchable English subtitles *

Masaki Kobayashi Writers: Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Kôichi Inagaki (screenplay) | 2 more credits » Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura

3 DVD DISCOUNTED SET OF THE FOLLOWING THREE FILMS  (if ordered in plastic holders, the three films will come in one case which will hold all three discs):


During the Second World War, a Japanese pacifist and humanist, Kaji, accepts an assignment to travel with his wife Michiko to the tiny Manchurian village Loh Hu to work as a supervisor in an iron ore mine to avoid being called up for military service. Along with his colleague Okishima, Kaji implements better treatment for the forced laborers in the mine and increases production. When 600 Chinese POWs are brought to the mine by Japanese MPs, Kaji negotiates with their leaders with the hope the officers will control their men. However, Kaji's methods run counter to the system of corruption at the mine and the foreman, Furuya, comes up with a scheme manipulating naive Chen to turn off the electrical power to the barbed wire fence, thus allowing the prisoners to escape. 

DVD-R is in Japanese with switchable English subtitles.  Approx. 206 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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In Road to Eternity, Kaji, having lost his exemption from military service by protecting Chinese prisoners from unjust punishment, has now been conscripted into the Kwantung Army. Under suspicion of leftist sympathies, Kaji is assigned the toughest duties in his unit despite his excellent marksmanship and strong barracks discipline. His wife Michiko pleads for understanding in a letter to his commanding officer and later pays Kaji a highly unorthodox visit at his base to express her love and solidarity. Kaji considers fleeing across the front with his friend Shinjo, who is similarly under suspicion, due to his brother's arrest for communist activities. Distrusting the idea that desertion will lead to freedom, and faithful to his wife, Kaji ultimately commits to continued military service despite his hardships. When Obara, a poor-sighted, weak soldier in Kaji's unit, kills himself after troubles from home are compounded by ceaseless punishment and humiliation from other soldiers, Kaji demands disciplinary action from his superiors for PFC Yoshida, the ring leader of the troops who pushed Obara over the brink. While Yoshida is not disciplined, Kaji helps to seal his fate by refusing to rescue the vicious soldier when both men are trapped in quicksand while in pursuit of Shinjo, who finally seizes the opportunity to desert. 

DVD-R is in Japanese with switchable English subtitles.  Approx. 178 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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Japanese forces, having been shattered during the events in the second part of this series, leads to Kaji and some of his comrades attempting to elude capture by Soviet forces and find the remnants of the Kwantung army in South Manchuria. Following the bayoneting of a Russian soldier, however, Kaji is increasingly sick of combat and decides to abandon any pretense of rejoining the Army. Instead, he leads fellow soldiers and a growing number of civilian refugees as they attempt to flee the war zone and return to their homes. Lost in a dense forest, the Japanese begin to fight amongst themselves and, eventually, many die from hunger, poisonous mushrooms and suicide. Emerging from the forest on their last legs, Kaji and the refugees encounter regular Japanese army troops, who deny them food, as if they were deserters. Carrying on further south, Kaji and his associates find a well-stocked farmhouse which is soon ambushed by Chinese peasant fighters. A prostitute, to whom Kaji had shown kindness, is killed by these partisans and Kaji vows to fight them rather than escape. However, overpowered by these newly armed Chinese forces, Kaji and his fellow soldiers are nearly killed and are forced to run through a flaming wheat field to survive. Kaji then encounters a group of fifty Japanese army holdouts who are attempting to resume combat in alliance with Chiang Kai-shek, whom they believe will be supported by American forces, in a civil war against the Russian-backed Communist Chinese. Kaji, a believer in pacifism and socialism, rejects this strategy as misguided and doomed to failure. 

DVD-R is in Japanese with switchable English subtitles.  Approx. 190 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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