Artikelnummer 5331

THE HUMAN CONDITION III: A SOLDIER'S PRAYER (1961) * with switchable English subtitles *

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

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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