Philosophy of a Knife (2008)




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Nails and Visions of Suffering director Andrey Iskanov offers a complete history of the clandestine biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army known as Unit 731 in this hybrid documentary/narrative drama that isn't for the faint of heart. From its inception in the 1930s through its demise in 1945, Unit 731 was responsible for some of the most reprehensible war atrocities ever committed. Former doctor and military translator Anatoly Protasov bore witness to many of these transgressions, and in this film he reveals previously unknown details that are sure to shock and disturb. It's those memories that form the foundation of this story concerning a young Japanese nurse who watches in horror as helpless prisoners are butchered and forced to serve as subjects in a series of sickening medical experiments, and a naïve Japanese officer attempting to reconcile his desire to serve his country with his growing sympathy for an imprisoned Russian girl. As his discomfort with the experiments grows, however, the young officer is compelled to use his patients as human guinea pigs in a series of shocking tests that revealed mankind's frightening capacity for barbarity.


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