Burmese Harp

By: tanekakoko

Apr 18 2007

Category: Burmese Harp

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This is a 1950’s Japanese film that the deals with the changes that come over a Japanese soldier in Burma at the close of WWII as he deals with wasteful deaths and the souls of the dead. The movie is shot in b&w, image above is from 1985 color remake, and is attractive to look at but, it is not beautiful. The actors used in the movie are all very ordinary looking, which is a strength. These two simplifying aspects force the viewer to consider the process of change that the main character goes through as he finds his life’s calling in Burma. It is a sad, slow-moving contemplative type of movie who’s soundtrack, when the soldiers aren’t singing, gently pushes scenes along. I enjoyed the movie and I disagree with other commentators that the image of Japanese soldiers as happy-go-lucky choirboys is misleading. Yes the Japanese commented atrocities, they weren’t the first and they won’t be the last. This movie isn’t about soldiering it is about a soldier and his life altering confrontations with death.



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