Under the Flag of the Rising Sun (1972)

Under the Flag of the Rising Sun





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The quest of a war-widow for the truth about her husband's death during World War II serves as the backbone for this film, which portrays the Japanese militarism of that time and the attitudes which gave rise to it. Though the government labelled her husband as a deserter, his widow does not believe it, and every day she makes a trip to the war reparations office until she finally tracks down four men who knew her husband in his last days. They tell a harrowing story of the breakdown of humanity … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Norio Osada, Kaneto Shindō, Kinji Fukasaku
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 7, 2005


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Critic Reviews for Under the Flag of the Rising Sun

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

June 25, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 25, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Under the Flag of the Rising Sun

"Under the Flag of the Rising Sun" starts on August 15, 1971 as Sakie Togashi(Sachiko Hidari) makes her annual pilgrimage to the government benefits office to appeal the decision to deny military benefits because her late husband Katsuo(Tetsuro Tanba) was shot for desertion towards the end of the war. It is not the benefits that she is interested in, but more his reputation. The board is sympathetic to her plight, having written the other men of his unit but no concrete evidence emerged. However, four did not respond and she seeks them out, starting with Terajima(Noburo Mitani) who says her husband died bravely in battle.

"Under the Flag of the Rising Sun" is a striking film that utilizes a variety of styles with an ordinary one for the present while black and white is mostly used for the war scenes that are color splattered with violence. Most unusual is the use of freeze frame and archival footage which lends it a documentary feel at times. All of which is put to use in a powerful exploration of memory in general and specifically how that applies to insuring that the horrors or war are never forgotten, and most importantly, not repeated. This is set in a country 26 years after its last disastrous war and is now in the midst of a booming prosperity, as the past is being quickly erased. In the end, there is hope in a burgeoning peace movement.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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