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Letters from Iwo Jima was released in the United States in 2006. It is the sequel to Flags of our Fathers, but it came as a shock to me to view life on the other side in the country of Japan. In the states while wars are going on citizens hear and see what the press puts out on display for the public’s viewing, welcoming their reactions. These reports, pictures, and depictions usually consist of an extremely biased opinion, that only show the American front lines. This movie is different from the other films released in America. It shows the opposing side. This film shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of war.
I became drawn in and fascinated with the opinions the Japanese held of the Americans. The scenes of soldiers digging trenches, brutal beatings, and unsanitary conditions are forever imbedded in my mind. I do not doubt that these are exaggerations of the truth, but rather a thorough reminder of what the life of a drafted man was like that the public chooses not to acknowledge. I am unable to describe how disturbed I am after seeing how the higher officers treated the newly enlisted men. It was extremely unsettling to see the constant verbally abuse the men went through. This movie provided the audience with a look inside the minds of those going through these traumatic events unwillingly in their day to day life. This movie, even though disturbing at times and suspenseful, was extremely informative.
After watching, the only reaction I had was awe. I was amazed at the intensity of the war and how whole communities, countries even, became completely consumed with helping the war effort. Every human being of these countries became fully involved with rationing and cutting back on anything else possible to help with the war effort. When Okubo shot the marine Sam, I literally jumped out of my seat.
This movie depicts the harsh realities that war brings. Like every other war movie, it shows the gruesome and not so pretty indiscretions, but it also shows how enemy minds think. It gives a look at how war strategies are drawn out. After watching, I was shocked to find that a country, such as that of Japan even listened to private in developing the main war strategies for an island that considered vital to their win. This strategy ensured Japans longevity in the war, and for a short time established stability.
My final conclusion and opinion of this movie is that it is well written, directed, cast, and produced, but on a history note I assume that what I saw was what actually occurred on the island of Iwo Jima during the war. I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment because of the constant suspense, action, and drama as the plot persisted. Even though this reaction involved watching the harsh realities that war brings, it has made me realize that I should not ignore how conditions are for soldiers during any war. The men that fought during this time period, some would have been considered boys, were warriors. They left all they knew, for some it was a pregnant wife or family, to help their country thrive and accomplish something great. I now have a greater respect for all those, willing or not, that have served anytime in the military.
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