Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ningen no joken 3

Ningen no jôken: Dai 5 bu - Shi no dasshutsu + Ningen no jôken: Dai 6 bu - Kôya no hôkô / The Human Condition 3: A Soldier's Prayer / [Ihmisen kohtalo 3: Sotilaan rukous] / [Människans lott 3: En soldats prädikan]. JP 1961. See general credits in part 1. 190 min. Viewed in The Night of the Arts in Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 22 Aug 2009. - Brilliant print. - Memorable in this part: the massive attack of the Red Army - only three soldiers are left from Kaji's unit of 160 - Kaji's hand covered in blood - flashbacks are introduced into the films; Michiko appears only in them anymore - the hellish struggle for survival - awareness that the Japanese army has disbanded - extreme close-ups and magnificent epic aerial long shots, sober compositions and sharply slanting angles - the trek through the forest - the preciousness of water - meeting Japanese refugees, the women have had to serve as prostitutes - scarce food: "we'll all share" - the flight of the ragged band through the forest with a screaming baby - subsisting on snails and mushrooms, which can be dangerous - the nobility of the elderly - discussing the future of the nation - Chinese peasants lure the Japanese into a trap - a tryst on a farm - ambush - escape through the fire - the Red Army is infamous for having its way with the women - Kaji would expect the Reds to be better than they are - Kaji fights the rapists among his own people - more Japanese are found lurking in the forest as the winter is coming - there is still even a Japanese military unit in the mountains - destroying a Red Army dugout - stealing their way through the countryside - the house of women, where there is general love-making going on all night, free for all, Kaji abstains and stays outdoors, the woman yearning for him (Hideko Takamine) takes a young virgin soldier instead - Kaji: "no time to play house" - at 127 minutes of this part (or at 37 minutes of Part Six) Kaji surrenders to the Red Army - one of the women having prevented Kaji's plan to fight - hit by the diarrhea - Kaji demands justice, demands investigation from the Red Army - he is called by them a "Fascist Samurai" - entering the Gulag: Work Station Number One - the prisoners in hard labour - huge loads of metal scrap, logs - they fall having spent their last drops of energy - Kaji loses his illusions of Soviet Russia - in a trial he is declared a war criminal - and Kaji speaks out, condemning the Red Army for injustice - Kaji is punished by sending him to build a forest railway - "If you can't survive Siberia no one can", says his old acquaintance Tange - Terada perishes, a victim of harassment, kicked, harassed by excessive latrine duty - this is the last straw for Kaji, who revenges on the biggest tormentor, Kirihara, and drowns him into the latrine - at 176 min Kaji escapes from under the barbed wire - into the icy water - interior monologue - the wind, the darkness, madness from hunger - the Chinese tramp him into the ground, "the Japanese devil" - through the snow expanse - drinking from the holes in the ice - immense desolate landscapes - "Michiko, I have come as far as I can" - "Michiko, I'm home at last"

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