Letters from Iwo Jima. This is a film I used to just dismiss until I watched it. All first impressions are not correct, are they? So anyway, I’d recommend that you simply watch this movie if you’re into war films. Another reason is that it was a produced by Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg, two veteran actor-directors.

The film is almost entirely in Japanese with a few snippets of the English language. Letters from Iwo  Jima portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view, in contrast to Flags of Our Fathers, which portrays the same battle but from the American point of view.

What I love about Letters from  Iwo Jima is that it’s painstakingly real. Although characters like Private First Class Saigo and other several commanders are fictional, the story is based on real people and events.

The year was 1944, in the island of Iwo Jima, the southernmost island of Japan and the Imperial government’s first line of defense. It was important to protect Iwo Jima from invaders, the Americans, as this will mean defeat for the Japanese. From the island of Iwo Jima, invaders can progress through mainland Japan and make their attack on this tiny East Asian country.

As you watch the movie, there will be flashbacks. Saigo and General Kuribayashi could be heard writing letters to their wives and children.

Saigo left his pregnant wife to go to war, but begrudgingly. He doesn’t buy Japan going into war, he doesn’t even buy into the Emperor. While in Iwo Jima, all he wants is to go back home to his wife and their unborn baby. Later, Saigo is heard saying that his wife has just given birth to a  baby girl who he’s never seen.

General Kuribayashi, who flew in to Iwo Jima to command the soldiers, also writes to his wife and his son, Taro. He tells them stories about the war. Unlike most generals, General Kuribayashi is compassionate. He does not want soldiers to die because of lack of food or water, or a beating from lower-ranking officers. and has saved Saigo’s life twice. Kuribayashi is more a strategist, thinking more on the long-term outcome rather than the short-term benefits.

Letters from Iwo Jima isn’t sugarcoated like Pearl Harbor, which most of you probably is their favorite. Letters from Iwo Jima is simply real. It tells the truth about war: separation from family, friendships formed and death.

Have you watched this movie? If you haven’t, then I recommend that you do! I won’t spoil the entire movie for you by giving details!!! It’s up to you so you can watch the movie.


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Published by Joanne Giselle Degamo