Customer Reviews for

Letters from Iwo Jima

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Memorial Day

    Decoration Day or Memorial Day as it is now called is a day set aside to honor those who fought in all of the wars since the Civil War, wars in defense of country and citizens. While we languish over the misbegotten war on Iraq it is helpful to view the Clint Eastwood film LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and visit the mindset of the 'enemy' - the soldiers pointing weapons our way - in an attempt to understand the global effect of war on the battlefield. Eastwood wisely pairs his disappointing 'Flags of our Fathers', which addressed the political 'war games' simultaneously with the combat on a small Japanese island in World War II, with a 'look at the other side' viewpoint. The same type of militarism, blind faith in the war machine, brutality, fear of dying, bonding among friends, the spectrum of 'good officers versus cruel inflexible officers, and the spectrum of humanity is equalized and the result is a moving drama that sheds needed light on how 'war' is a universal beast no matter one's stance. The telling of the story with occasional letter contents is sound if somewhat over long. The screenplay by Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis is based on Tadamichi Kuribayashi's "Picture Letters from Commander in Chief" - Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) being the film's chief character. Watanabe is excellent in his well-rounded approach to the role of the 'good commander' in both his wise military judgment and his kindness bestowed on the simplest of soldiers such as Saigo (the sensitive Kazunari Ninomiya). For many of us this is the first encounter with the vantage that the Japanese were minimally supplied and supported in defending their sacred Iwo Jima against the American aggressors: the battle was a doomed last stand for the Japanese despite all the casualties suffered by both sides. Eastwood does away with the 'kamikazi' stereotype of the Japanese soldier and allows us to see them as human beings, away form home, fighting to defend their country and their honor. No one is right in war: circumstances and places vary from Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and here but horrors remain the same. It is good to be reminded of this, as in LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, especially on Memorial Day. Grady Harp

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

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