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Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

In this sequel to his earlier film Flags of Our Fathers (although you can watch either film first), director Clint Eastwood tells the story of that famous battle from the perspective of our enemy and the losers, the Japanese soldiers. Japan's 22,000 soldiers fought bravely for forty days against an American invasion of 70,000 troops; only 2,000 Japanese survived the carnage. The film does a remarkable job of helping us to view our ostensible "enemies" as fellow human beings; in almost every respect the combatants are mirror images of each other. They complain about army food, make crude jokes about women, see through the lies that their own government feeds them, fight bravely despite being horribly under-resourced, cuss at broken equipment, make the best of a dehumanizing task, and receive and write letters to their loved ones back home. When a Japanese soldier reads a letter that he took from a dead American he remarks, "I was taught to believe that the Americans were cowards and savages, but when I read this letter from the soldier's mother I realize that he is just like me." In Japanese with English sub-titles.

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