Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)


letters“We can die here, or we can continue fighting. Which would better serve the emperor? ” – Saigo

Number of Times Seen – 3 (22 Feb 2007, Mar 2010 and 4 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A look at the battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese warriors who fought there.

My Take on it – Who would have imagined that an iconic American filmmaker like Clint Eastwood would make a movie about a battle during World War II from the perspective of the “enemy”?

Most American films about war give us a faceless enemy and we are expected to feel completely disassociated with them and their reasons for fighting.

This is perhaps the first time that the tables are switched and we get to see and feel for the faceless enemy.

Eastwood’s techniques help us feel an emotional connection to the soldiers shown here and we sympathize with them throughout the battle.

What’s amazing tho, is that in this film, the Americans become the faceless enemy and we feel distain for some of their actions throughout the film.

This film helps us understand the Japanese way of life and war and we get to easily see how important honor is among all of their actions in their lives including dying.

The cast is amazing and Ken Watanabe is great as the Japanese general.

The way that the story plays out makes everything feel so realistic on numerous levels.

Eastwood uses some great techniques to make this all feel so realistic.  The battle scenes are among some of the most harrowing and brutal that have ever been filmed and this film easily is able to stand it’s own among some of the great realistic (anti-) war movies ever made.

Unlike the other 7 Oscar Best Picture Nominees not in English since 1969, this film was not eligible to be also nominated for Best Foreign language film because it was made by an American.

The fact that this movie was better received by everyone over Eastwood’s companion piece film of the same year Flags of Our Fathers (2006) was a surprise to everyone at the time, but after having watched both films, there is no question which one is better AND which one will be more remembered as being among the best (anti-) war films ever!

Bottom Line – Eastwood does an amazing job showing us the “faceless” enemy and being able to evoke emotional attachments to the characters.  Shows us how important honor is to the Japanese soldier during wartime and we get to see how that helped drive their actions during the battle.  Amazing cast led by Watanabe makes this film feel so realistic in so many aspects.  The battle scenes are among some of the most harrowing ever filmed because of the realistic feeling of it all. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The screenplay was written first in English and then translated into Japanese.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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5 thoughts on “Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2006 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2006 |

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