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Fires On The Plain Film Analysis

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“Fires on the Plain” is a Japanese film that follows a group of Japanese soldiers in the last days of the second world war, weakened, starving, defeated, sick and helpless. These soldiers just want to live for a few hours longer, and they struggle to survive, but without any hope of ever being truly rescued. The film mainly focuses on one character named Tamura who is ordered to return to a military hospital or just kill himself. Tamura is unable to support himself and meets other soldiers, who can barely support themselves. They were pathetical and starved to the point of cannibalism. However, giving up was never an option to them. They preferred death to surrender. This film shows another side of the war, the Japanese side.
The first scene
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Everyone we see in this film is skin and bones, covered in dirt and wearing clothes that are rack. A lot of elements helped showing the effects of the war on those poor soldiers, and how desperate they were to survive. The viewers are able to see those soldier’s pain through the camera work, that captured the unexpected bombing, and the dead bodies that were everywhere. There is one scene, where a lot of Japanese soldiers try to cross a road guarded by Yanks in the middle of the night, all crawling on their hands and knees as the camera watches on from above. In that scene, they looked terrified. Another element was the sound of the bombs exploding, and the screaming. When I saw this film, I could see fear through those characters eyes, and I believe that the camera showed their fear, and struggle perfectly. Tamura’s character was quiet, but sickness, struggle, and thinking of death were obvious and well shown through camera. In many scenes, he did not speak, but the viewers were able to hear his thoughts clearly. There was another scene that felt so real, and it was when one of the soldiers killed his friend and ate him alive. That scene shows the viewers that at that point it wasn’t about submitting anymore. Rather it was about surviving in any way
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