Ningen no jôken (Human Condition III - A Soldier's Prayer) (1970)
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Critic Reviews for Ningen no jôken (Human Condition III - A Soldier's Prayer)
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Audience Reviews for Ningen no jôken (Human Condition III - A Soldier's Prayer)
see review for "the human condition 1".
This is amazing. The Human Condition is one of the most amazing things I've ever had the privilege of experiencing. It's 9 1/2 hours (I should say breezy hours, the runtime flies by) of unrelenting suffering. Our hero, Kaji, goes from an idealistic businessman in part 1 to the hardened and jaded military man at the end of part 3. His journey is heartbreaking, if this is any indication of what life was actually like in 1940's Japan, then it was hellish. He is constantly beaten down by the system of brutality that he has basically no power to do anything about. He is so determined to do the right thing, but every act becomes more and more desperate. It's gut-wrenching to watch. The story is so epic, it fills the hours very well. There are almost no dull spots, which is an amazing achievement in itself. The production is amazing too, the widescreen is filled with images, being hundreds of mine workers or rumbling tanks, or whatever. See this film. You won't regret it.
goddamn this is an awesome movie (part 3), and it might be my favorite of the trilogy; it's more audacious in tone and style than the other two, even as Kobayashi tells the story with only a couple of major changes (i.e. narration, brief flashbacks). Hard not to find Tatsuya Nakadai giving the performance of his life - and this is before Ran! Probably one of the bleakest endings ever, and rightfully so! (it's approximately Russian flavored, sans the Vodka)
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