Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00
Local opening date: 1/19/2007
Reviewed by Diane Carson 
Last year, when director Clint Eastwood shot Flags of our Fathers, about the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi and the p.r. campaign that piggybacked on it, he shot a companion piece, Letters from Iwo Jima. This film also focuses on the grueling, tragic 40-day fight for Iwo Jima but this one is from the Japanese point of view.

Adapting Iris Yamashita's script, based on Japanese letters discovered recently on Iwo Jima, Eastwood investigates the enemy. He portrays as many Japanese soldiers with misgivings, with noble sentiments, with loved ones back home whom they deeply miss, with courage, with cowardice, suffering as there are similar Americans.

Day dawns well before the Americans land but the Japanese know they're coming. They also learn fairly quickly that no Japanese reinforcements will arrive-no ships, no soldiers, no planes for backup. This makes the mission to defend Iwo Jima a suicidal one and they know it. The commanding Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi decides digging tunnels deep within the volcanic island offers the strongest defense, and he deploys his men accordingly.

As performed by the accomplished, pitch-perfect, veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, Kuribayashi leads by example and with strength and compassion. In flashbacks, incidents reveal his years in America and he treats a wounded American solider with camaraderie. Other Japanese men become equally complex.

Not since director Lewis Milestone's brilliant and heart-rending, 1930 All Quiet on the Western Front has there been a film so nonjudgmental, so immersed in the enemy's perspectives. This has a tremendous effect on our emotions and intellect. Because the Japanese become three-dimensional, though not overly sentimentalized, individuals, the fate of everyone caught in the trap of war matters, the horrors more awful, the entire experience tragically lamentable. Any year it's an impressive achievement for a director to have one phenomenal film. How truly amazing, then, to have two as Clint Eastwood does. For Letters from Iwo Jima is one of the best pictures of the year, joining the equally accomplished Flags of Our Fathers. And the timing could not be more perfect. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

4 users and 11113 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook