Fires on the Plain (1959)

Genres - War, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Anti-War Film, War Drama  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Kon Ichikawa's adaptation of Shohei Ooka's novel Nobi takes place in the Philippines at the end of World War II. The Japanese army is in hasty retreat from the incoming American forces. The soldiers have also been warned that the Americans will take no live prisoners, and so their flight is all the more desperate. One group of men harbors a soldier named Tamura (Eiji Funakoshi) suffering from the last stages of tuberculosis. Knowing he is facing imminent death anyway, Tamura is able to resist submitting to the chaos and demoralization that overtake his fellow soldiers (who fall so far as to commit murder, cannibalism, and go insane). Eventually Tamura becomes involved with a couple that has returned in order to pick up a cache of salt. He shoots the wife and chases off the husband, bringing him one step closer to losing his humanity.

Characteristics

Themes

Keywords

Japanese [nationality], jungle, madness, soldier, tuberculosis, war, cannibal, disease, survivor

Attributes

High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance