This event - the final in a series of 4 film screening which will be followed by a discussion with director Clint Eastwood - is part of the second phase of a three year research effort to compare the formation of the divided memories in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. We will conduct a comparative study of popular cinema dealing with historical subjects focusing roughly on the period from 1931-1951.
Letters From Iwo Jima Synopsis
Sixty-one years ago, US and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades
later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island's
soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as
well as the extraordinary general who led them.
The Japanese soldiers are sent to Iwo Jima knowing that in all
probability they will not come back. Among them are Saigo (Kazunari
Ninomiya), a baker who wants only to live to see the face of his
newborn daughter; Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), an Olympic equestrian
champion known around the world for his skill and his honor; Shimizu
(Ryo Kase), a young former military policeman whose idealism has not
yet been tested by war; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), a strict
military man who would rather accept suicide than surrender.
Leading the defense is Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken
Watanabe), whose travels in America have revealed to him the hopeless
nature of the war but also given him strategic insight into how to take
on the vast American armada streaming in from across the Pacific.
With little defense other than sheer will and the volcanic rock of the
island itself, Gen. Kuribayashi's unprecedented tactics transform what
was predicted to be a quick and bloody defeat into nearly 40 days of
heroic and resourceful combat.
Almost 7,000 American soldiers were killed on Iwo Jima; more than
20,000 Japanese troops perished. The black sands of Iwo Jima are
stained with their blood, but their sacrifices, their struggles, their
courage and their compassion live on in the letters they sent home.