After [Masaki Koboyashi's] The Human Condition, the two most important Japanese films about the Second World War were Kon Ichikawa's The Harp of Burma and Fires on the Plain…. In making two such different films on the same subject—the horrors of war experienced by besieged and abandoned Japanese soldiers—Ichikawa reveals his own lack of a consistent point of view or personal commitment. Ichikawa's anti-war films are the opposite of Kobayashi's, whose films may be more didactic but reveal a much more coherent and persuasive understanding of history.
Ichikawa's anti-war works are far less intellectually serious than The Human Condition. They take their coloration from...
(The entire section is 1590 words.)