I first came across Nobi – Fires on the Plain and its director, Kon Ichikawa, through the site Genkinahito. To my knowledge, there’s no better blogger when it comes to contemporary Japanese cinema, and I can’t recommend his blog enough. Curiously, I became interested in this film based on an article Genkinahito wrote about the remake of Nobi; but, hearing that it was a remake, I naturally opted to find and watch the original first. The movie is a bleak representation of the hardships facing Japanese soldiers during their last days occupying the Philippines and the barbaric steps those individuals who were cut off from the main army took to survive. Usually, I don’t like movies which are this gloomy, but this one has enough guts and human spirit to make it more than palatable–sort of like certain stories of Ernest Hemingway.
So, I heartily recommend it and will try to watch the remake and more films of Kon Ichikawa in the near future. Tomorrow, my dear readers may look forward to that article on a biography of the Black Prince which I have promised.