2006   USA Letters from Iwo Jima
Letters from Iwo Jima Image Cover
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Director:Clint Eastwood
Studio:Warner Brothers
Writer:Iris Yamashita, Iris Yamashita
IMDb Rating:8.0 (71,947 votes)
Awards:Won Oscar. Another 16 wins & 15 nominations
Duration:140 min
Clint Eastwood  ...  (Director)
Iris Yamashita, Iris Yamashita  ...  (Writer)
Ken Watanabe  ...  General Kuribayashi
Kazunari Ninomiya  ...  Saigo
Tsuyoshi Ihara  ...  Baron Nishi
Ryo Kase  ...  Shimizu
Shido Nakamura  ...  Lieutenant Ito
Hiroshi Watanabe  ...  Lieutenant Fujita
Takumi Bando  ...  Captain Tanida
Yuki Matsuzaki  ...  Nozaki
Takashi Yamaguchi  ...  Kashiwara
Eijiro Ozaki  ...  Lieutenant Okubo
Nae  ...  Hanako
Nobumasa Sakagami  ...  Admiral Ohsugi
Luke Eberl  ...  Sam (as Lucas Elliot)
Sonny Saito  ...  Medic Endo (as Sonny Seiichi Saito)
Steve Santa Sekiyoshi  ...  Kanda
Shidô Nakamura  ...  Lieutenant Ito
Tom Stern  ...  Cinematographer
Summary: Critically hailed as an instant classic, Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima is a masterwork of uncommon humanity and a harrowing, unforgettable indictment of the horrors of war. In an unprecedented demonstration of worldly citizenship, Eastwood (from a spare, tightly focused screenplay by first-time screenwriter Iris Yamashita) has crafted a truly Japanese film, with Japanese dialogue (with subtitles) and filmed in a contemplative Japanese style, serving as both complement and counterpoint to Eastwood's previously released companion film Flags of Our Fathers. Where the earlier film employed a complex non-linear structure and epic-scale production values to dramatize one of the bloodiest battles of World War II and its traumatic impact on American soldiers, Letters reveals the battle of Iwo Jima from the tunnel- and cave-dwelling perspective of the Japanese, hopelessly outnumbered, deprived of reinforcements, and doomed to die in inevitable defeat. While maintaining many of the traditions of the conventional war drama, Eastwood extends his sympathetic touch to humanize "the enemy," revealing the internal and external conflicts of soldiers and officers alike, forced by circumstance to sacrifice themselves or defend their honor against insurmountable odds. From the weary reluctance of a young recruit named Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) to the dignified yet desperately anguished strategy of Japanese commander Tadamichi Kuribayashi (played by Oscar-nominated The Last Samurai costar Ken Watanabe), whose letters home inspired the film's title and present-day framing device, Letters from Iwo Jima (which conveys the bleakness of battle through a near-total absence of color) steadfastly avoids the glorification of war while paying honorable tribute to ill-fated men who can only dream of the comforts of home. --Jeff Shannon

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