Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Some of the complexities involved in the murder of 5,000 Chinese in Singapore during World War II are considered in this joint Japanese-Australian film. After the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese, the Imperial Japanese Army unit known as the kempei-tai or a kind of military police, were responsible for most of the brutality against captured Allied forces and the "ethnic cleansing" of Chinese based on the claim that their guerrilla forces were a threat. The hero of the film is Minoru Tamiya (Atsuo Nakamura) who worked as an information officer at the Japanese mission in Singapore before the outbreak of World War II. In this story, Tamiya was educated at Cambridge and argued for the humane treatment of prisoners of war against the harsh, often fatal, and degrading methods used by the kempei-tai. The difficulties of his position come to a climax in a melodramatic ending, in which the fate of a group of Allies and the fate of the Japanese themselves are symbolically bound together.
history, murder, surrender, war-atrocities