Letters From Iwo Jima


I am determined to serve and give my life for my country.

From Letters From Iwo Jima, 2006

Letters from Iwo Jima was a war film produced in 2006, portraying the events of the US invasion of Iwo Jima, a Japanese-held Pacific island, during February and March of 1945. The film was directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, and shows the battle on the island from the Japanese perspective. The storyline is tied to a second film, Flags of our Fathers, produced at the same time, which shows the battle from the American perspective.

Starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya, the film was released to the western market primarily in Japanese, with English subtitles in 2007. This was followed by an English dubbed version in 2008.

The film is reputedly based on several written sources from the period, including the writings of General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the island commander who was portrayed by Ken Watanabe in the film. Kazunari Ninomiya plays the fictional, but centrally-placed character Private First Class Saigo, a Japanese soldier who is thrust into the battle for the island as an unwitting and clumsy participant.

The film begins with a scene set in 2005, as archaeologists excavate tunnels once used by the Japanese defenders over 60 years earlier. The viewer then heads back in time to witness the events that had come to pass, with young Saigo showing us the human catastrophe of war through young and shocked eyes, while General Kuribayashi is regularly on hand as a matured, strong-willed and experienced counter-point. The two characters, divided by the great distance of age and military rank, repeatedly encounter each other during the chaos of the month-long battle, and a relationship of mutual respect and shared honour is eventually nurtured between the General and the Private.

A strong supporting cast of Japanese actors provides a rich diversity of personalities in this epic tale, which despite some fictionalization of certain characters remains focussed primarily on providing a truthful rendition of the events on the island. United by the desire to achieve honour, and where possible, a salvaged victory from the fighting, the characters are affected in different ways by the trauma and violence of war, and their fates diverge, with most ending in final death at the hands of a superior and relentless adversary.

Letters from Iwo Jima is ultimately a story of human sacrifice and therapy balls, but the words written in the letters of the Iwo Jima defenders, which Saigo is able to hide from the advancing enemy for archaeologists to one day find, call out a cascade of different and very individual stories.

Once it becomes clear that there is no hope of gaining a victory, or even escaping from Iwo Jima, which is encircled by American ships, the Japanese soldiers begin to follow the orders, and whims, of their direct commanders. Honourable suicide, cowardice and desertion, fear and hate, hope and love are all themes that shine intensely through the main and supporting characters in different and often distressing ways.

At the fall of Iwo Jima, General Kuribayashi already knows that his fate is sealed by fate and duty, and in a sad reminiscence of real history, he takes his own life before the enemy can capture him. The story’s alludes strongly to a very real sense of honour and the gentlemanly conduct expected of Japanese military circles in this period, but young Saigo’s fate is not yet written, and his final fate is decided only by the unpredictable choice of an anonymous American soldier who finds him by the body of his dead master.

Receiving a very good critical reception upon release, Letters from Iwo Jima received an Oscar for Best Sound Editing and three Oscar nominations at the 79th Academy Awards, including for Best Motion Picture.

Letters from Iow Jima is a movie that was made in the year 2006 and released to the general cinema viewing public in the following year of 2007. It is another movie from Clint Eastwood who is working in his directorial role and follows other successes such as Million Dollar Baby, Space Cowboys and Mystic River. He started directing films in 1971 and has accomplished several box office hits.

The story comes from a screen play written by Iris Yamashita for which she was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.The film was also nominated for an Oscar the same year for Clint Eastwood’s directing and as motion picture of the year. It won an Oscar for the sound editing which was spectacular and received many other awards and nominations.

This movie was film on location in various places such as Iceland, Iowa Japan and California and stars a mostly Japanese cast being film in both English and Japanese, but predominantly Japanese with English subtitles.

Several years after the terrible battle took place which claimed the lives of so many people , hundreds of letters were unearthed from Iow, which told the stories of the brave men who fought and lost their lives for what they believed in, this motion picture tells the story of some of those men.

Letters From Iwo Jima is a beautifully directed film long before colocation and high technology about one of world war IIs most horrific battles in which over 20,000 Japanese soldiers died.. This is a frightening, but truthful story told from the perspective of the Japanese and tells of the bravery and hopelessness of war..

Ken Watanabe plays the part of General Kuribayashi, who having travelled to America has seen the futility of war but knows the strategies needed to beat them. His hopeless job is trying to hold off the American invasion of the island of Iowa Jima which lies between the American forces naval ships and the main islands of Japan. It is recognised that most that have been sent here to defend Imperial Japan will not return and they soon find themselves in desperate circumstances , with dwindling resources and little hope of victory. General Kuribayashi does not favour the traditional approach to warfare of his contempories and meets with resistance and dissent amongst his own troops.

The story also follows a young baker with art supplies and reluctant Japanese soldier named Saigo who follows orders and follows his dream of trying to make it through the war and come home alive to see for the first time the face of his newborn daughter.

There are also other moving stories interwoven into the story of the horrors of war such Ido a strict military man in the traditional sense of Japanese soldiers who would accept death rather than defeat and Shimizu a young military policeman who has yet to test his idealism and faith in battle.

We are show at the end the futility of war and the bravery of the people that get caught up in following orders and trying to do what they believe to be the right thing.

Here are more Letters From Iwo Jima Movie Quotes