Battle of Okinawa (1971)
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Critic Reviews for Battle of Okinawa
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Audience Reviews for Battle of Okinawa
"The Battle of Okinawa" is a partially successful attempt at capturing the nuances from as many angles as possible of a long running battle(I really didn't need to know the particulars of relieving oneself under bombardment) that is hurt by its docudrama approach, leaning too heavily on a recitation of the facts and major players that is narrated from an emergency report. While depressingly patriotic, the movie argues safely from the present about what went wrong in the Japanese defense of Okinawa, starting with contradictory orders from Tokyo and local commanders, resulting in the inconsistent building of an airfield which was destroyed by American bombers anyway, before being abandoned to start preparing for an invasion of the mainland. All of which is fine and good but leave that for the historians in the documentary. What I am mostly interested in with a dramatic recreation such as "The Battle of Okinawa" is the human view of the conflict, especially the natives caught in the middle.(About a third of the civilian population died during the battle.) Handled wrongly, this could lead to one long soap opera but could also definitely give more insight with an accompanying sense of loss. And there is some of that with the character of a barber(Kunie Tanaka) who goes to work for the Japanese officers, right before the battle in a fruitless attempt to get his family off the island before it is too late. But there is too little of that which causes the narrative to become fragmented.
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