Biruma no Tategoto (The Burmese Harp) (1956)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 4.2/5
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Set against the final days of World War II, The Burmese Harp portrays the experiences of a group of exhausted, war-scarred Japanese soldiers as they prepare to return to Japan. The film focuses on Shoji Yasui, a soldier known to his comrades for his harp playing, who fails to convince a resistant company to surrender and is presumed dead when a battle destroys their hillside encampment. To rejoin his fellow soldiers, Shoji steals the robes of a Buddhist monk and begins to make his way across the
Jan 21, 1956 Wide
Mar 13, 2007
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February 15, 2008:Kon Ichikawa: 1915-2008
Kon Ichikawa, the Japanese director whose work on 1956's The Burmese Harp earned him an Oscar...
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Kon Ichikawa's 1956 antiwar film was widely hailed at the time of its release for its power and commitment, though by today's standards it's likely to appear uncomfortably didactic.
much like the soldier Mizushima dressed in the robes of a Buddhist monk, Ichikawa's war film tries on borrowed spiritualist attire and finds that it is an unexpectedly perfect fit.
Thoroughly engrossing in its humanism and often heartbreakingly beautiful in both tone and image.
Nominated in the first year of the foreign-language Oscar, Ichikawa's art film was innovative at the time with its anti-war spiritual message and lyrical imagery.
The Burmese Harp, just as the titular instrument suggests songs without filling them out, is a slight film that suggests the heavy human toll of war without actually presenting it.
From start to finish, there's a stirring humanism to Ichikawa's little seen classic. A powerful and affecting anti-war movie.
This lyrical antiwar film is the picture that brought the brilliant Japanese director international renown.
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