Battle of Okinawa

Battle of Okinawa (Gekido no showashi: Okinawa kessen), Japanese movie about the battle of Okinawa from 1971, directed by Kihachi Okamoto.

“They were ordered to fight to the last man, woman, and child. It is spring, 1945. The war is going badly for the Empire of Japan. Outnumbered and outgunned, the soldiers of the Empire are being forced back, island by island, towards the homeland. Director Kihachi Okamoto brings to life this tragic story in his unique way, full of moments of joy and sorrow, fear and heroism, and his special brand of bleak, black comedy.”

I found this movie to be better than i expected. It has an epic sometimes almost documentary style to it, very interesting to see the battle portrayed from a Japanese point of view. OK, lot’s of over dramatized 70s style death poses and the US gear is kind of crappy looking (with almost everybody carrying a Thompson), but nonetheless a worthwhile viewing experience. I was surprised by the graphic depiction of civilian deaths, at times this movie is very gruesome, especially for a production that is now almost 40 years old! It can be questioned whether the role of the Japanese Military in the civilian deaths is downplayed, but i did not expect a critical and historical 100% correct depiction of the battle anyways. This is not a documentary and western WW2 movies from this time are also not well-known for their historic accuracy either (are they today? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I recommend the US DVD release by Animeigo. It has two different subtitle options, one are very well translated subtitles of the spoken words, the other has explanations of specific Japanese terms like “Gyokusai” as well. Cool! And as an extra the DVD has some very informative info about the battle of Okinawa, the real life characters and more.

Cover of the US DVD:

Japanese DVD cover:

Trailer with English subtitles:

~ by m1pencil on January 30, 2011.

One Response to “Battle of Okinawa”

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