based on the book Picture Letters from Commander in Chief by Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Tsuyoko YoshidoI’m not sure what I was really expecting from this film; but I know I didn’t get it. The companion film to Eastwood’s Flag’s of our Fathers, this tells the story of the battle for Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective. The story begins with the arrival of Kuribayashi who is taking command of the island’s defences, sometimes without the support of his officers. He does however seem to be well liked by the “ordinary” soldiers, as he stops the endless digging of the beach defences, and instead concentrates on higher up in the island.
Told through a number of different points of views, and with flashbacks, this isn’t as confusing time-wise as I found Flags of our Fathers. However, it still isn’t a great film. If I had to, I’d label it as a worthy film, but not really one that works as a film. Still, it deserved to be made, and the story is one that should be told, so the film makers deserve credit for that. It is simply that as a whole I didn’t care one way or the other about the characters, and never felt myself drawn into their story.