Akai Tenshi

Overview

Exploring many of the same themes of Robert Altman's MASH 1970, albeit with completely distinct overtones, Akai Tenshi is a brutal portrayal of individuals clinging to their humanity while enduring the horrors of war. Set in 1939, the film concerns Sakura Nishi Ayako Wakao, a fresh young nurse who works at a field hospital during Japan's ill-conceived advance into China. In spite of the waves of broken men arriving at the clinic and the primitive conditions at their disposal amputation is the only treatment ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Enhanced)
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Overview

Exploring many of the same themes of Robert Altman's MASH 1970, albeit with completely distinct overtones, Akai Tenshi is a brutal portrayal of individuals clinging to their humanity while enduring the horrors of war. Set in 1939, the film concerns Sakura Nishi Ayako Wakao, a fresh young nurse who works at a field hospital during Japan's ill-conceived advance into China. In spite of the waves of broken men arriving at the clinic and the primitive conditions at their disposal amputation is the only treatment available, Nishi tries to heal both the physical and emotional wounds of those she encounters but runs into a series of harrowing difficulties as she tries to compete with the insanity of war.
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Special Features

A new digital widescreen transfer (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Original theatrical trailer; Yasuzo Masumura biography and filmography; Photo and stills gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Intense, brutal and shocking, Akai Tenshi is an unsettling, powerful, engrossing and disturbing portrait of the true horrors inflicted upon those who serve "on the ground" in a war, in any capacity, as well as an indictment of societies in which individualism is sacrificed for a perceived common good. It is a brilliant masterpiece, but the kind of film that many viewers will find incredibly difficult to watch. It outrages and depresses at once, and it doesn't work itself into knots trying to find a Hollywood ending: the resolution of the film is an anti-resolution, in keeping with its portrait of the powerlessness of those who are placed in an untenable situation in which no choice is a good choice, only the possibly lesser of evils. And yet in the midst of all this, director Yasuzo Masumura and scenarist Ryozo Kasahara also manage to create moments of daring, thrilling eroticism; at times the erotic content takes on a hopeful spirit, only to eventually be crushed by an ultimate despondency. It's astonishing filmmaking, the work of an artist operating at the top of his form, and is of a complexity that is alien to so many films. Akai also benefits from the gorgeous yet frightening cinematography of Yoriyoshi Arima, which adds significantly to the film's visceral impact. A challenging, difficult work, Akai Tenshi must be seen.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2006
  • UPC: 695026704720
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Source: Fantoma
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Enhanced
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 54,097

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ayako Wakao Sakura Nishi
Shinsuke Ashida Dr. Okabe
Yasuke Kawazu Private Orihara
Jotaro Senba
Technical Credits
Yasuzo Masumura Director
Ryozo Kasahara Screenwriter
Setsuo Kobayashi Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Yasuzo Masumura: Red Angel
1. The New Arrival [4:10]
2. Night Rounds [3:01]
3. Hell Couldn't Be Worse [5:47]
4. A Waste of Valuable Blood [3:33]
5. Cherry Blossom [9:13]
6. Angel of Mercy [12:58]
7. Thank You and Goodbye [5:27]
8. Return to Hell [6:23]
9. Stay Till Morning [7:25]
10. Nearer to Death [6:05]
11. One More Enemy [5:32]
12. Just Tonight... [6:32]
13. Please Love Me [3:51]
14. A Superior Officer [3:28]
15. Sakura's Mark [6:26]
16. Dawn [4:46]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Yasuzo Masumura: Red Angel
   Play Film
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Biography
      Filmography
      Theatrical Trailer
      Photo Gallery
   Subtitles
      On
      Off
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