2006-12-06

Iwo Jima: From both sides.

A few weeks ago, Flags of Our Fathers was released over here and it ends next week. On Saturday, a follow-up picture, Letters from Iwo Jima premieres here. Clint Eastwood has done an admirable job of telling the story of the flag raising from both sides of the picture. I've got to go see Flags and Letters before they disappear from our shores. (In an unrelated aside, I'm watching Kelly's Heroes starring Clint as a gung-ho commander who robs a bank of 1.6 million in gold bullion behind enemy lines. Unofficially remade as We Three Kings in my opinion.)

But good old Clint is in the minority of directors who portray the Japanese in a positive light. He approached Councilor Shindo Yoshitaka in 2005 with the intention of telling the story of the flag-raisers. Mr Yoshitaka (who has a personal stake in the project: his grandfather General Kuribayashi Tadamichi, was handpicked by Emperor Hirohito to lead the defense of Iwo Jima) had grave concerns about the Republican Dirty Harry making this picture. Will it be another rehash of Sands of Iwo Jima starring another Hollywood tough guy, John Wayne (who never served a minute in the military) or something different for a change?

Reviews have been positive, so I'm looking forward to making a judgement for myself. Stay tuned...

But forget all that for now. Let's sit back and reminisce about simpler times. When the Japanese were portrayed as buck-toothed, begoggled savages and the Americans as the heroes come to save the day...Yup, it's time for some more Propoganda Posters from WWII. (I mean, tomorrow is Dec 7th and we all know how that ended up for the Yanks don't we?)

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