3.3. An interpretation of the representation of Asian troops in war movies
Another important representation of different nationalities in war movies we can find in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) directed by David Lean. The movie tells the story of British soldiers in Japanese captivity during WW II who have to build a bridge. At the beginning British soldiers work reluctantly, but their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) wants to prove the moral and technical superiority of the British and personally supervises the progress of work. There is also American soldier, Commander Shears (William Holden) only one person who succeeds in escaping from prison camp.
Lean makes very interesting representation of Japanese and British soldiers. The camp Commandant, Colonel Saito is obliged to commit a suicide if he will fail to meet his deadline and finish the bridge on time. Japanese colonel is presented as someone who is strictly observed to the Samurai code. However, there is one thing that shows British soldiers at the higher level: viewer can predict their behaviour. Japanese soldiers are unpredictable. They can commit suicide at any moment or they can develop more sophisticated methods of torturing people with using incomprehensible rules. Colonel Nicholson refuses to appoint officers to manual labour, he cautions Saito that the Geneva Conventions exempt officers from manual work. Because of his indiscipline, he and his officers are tortured in the oven –