Letters From Iwo Jima Analysis

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Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” is a Japanese-American war film based on the American invasion and subsequent Japanese defence on the island of Iwo Jima. The protagonists of the movie are General Tadamichi Kuribayashi played by Ken Watanabe, and the fictional character Saigo, played by Kazunari Ninomiya. The movie shows the Japanese perspective of the defence on the island of Iwo Jima, to prevent the Americans from achieving a launching point for an invasion of mainland Japan. It follows Kuribayashi struggle to command his troops and defend the island. Meanwhile, it follows Saigo’s struggle to survive the ensuing onslaught to return home to his wife and child. “Letters from Iwo Jima” is considered a historically accurate representation of the conflict in Iwo Jima. However, it misrepresents some facts that could affect our understanding on The Battle of Iwo Jima. Firstly, one aspect of The Battle of Iwo Jima that the film accurately depicted was Kuribayashi’s strategy. The Japanese defence of Jima would have been defence-in-depth, a military tactic that included…show more content…
For example, the protagonist Saigo was a fictional character only portrayed in the movie. The character of Saigo could lead the viewer to believe that he was a real person. Furthermore, the movie showed Kuribayashi during a banquet where he said, “the United States is the last country in the world Japan should fight." In reality, the quote is taken from a letter that he had written to his wife (Chen par. 1). Lastly, in the movie, the death of Kuribayashi is depicted with an iconic suicide by a gunshot to the head. In reality, he had been reportedly committed ritual suicide, but it cannot be confirmed as no body had been found (Chen par. 6). “Letters from Iwo Jima” inaccurately depicted the death of Kuribayashi and included fictional aspects not recorded in
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