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Letter From Iwo JUma

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  • Letter From Iwo JUma

    I finally had an opportunity to watch this last night and was extremely put off by the revisionism.

    Presenting Japan as the victim of American aggression and portraying Marines as murderers of unarmed prisoners, to mention only two of the many glaring errors, removed all credibility and cinematic worth from this film.

    Eastwood should have known better.
    Last edited by GCoyote; 14 Nov 15, 23:15.

  • #2
    Overall I thought it was pretty good. I didn't really see how any "victimization" of Japanese was present, as the Japanese characters frequently boasted of their own superiority over the Americans throughout the film. The point of the movie, alongside "Flags of out Fathers," was to humanize both sides so audiences could be shown that they were in fact human beings like themselves.

    On the shooting of the POWs, I actually regarded that scene as unrealistic in that the Marines probably would have just shot them right off the bat. The mutual hatred on both sides was very strong and prisoners were rarely taken, to the point where US commanders had to repeatedly issue direct orders to the combat units not to shoot Japanese who were trying to surrender. Of course, such orders were frequently ignored.
    Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      [FONT=Lucida Sans Unicode]I finally had an opportunity to watch this last night and was extremely put off by the revisionism.

      Presenting Japan as the victim of American aggression and portraying Marines as murderers of unarmed prisoners . . . .
      This old tome had Chesty on Guadalcanal ordering his Marines to kill prisoners right away, but if they demurred for the purpose of using their prisoners as bearers, then the prisoners had to be kept alive and fed to be returned to Henderson Field for evacuation.
      I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
        Overall I thought it was pretty good. I didn't really see how any "victimization" of Japanese was present, as the Japanese characters frequently boasted of their own superiority over the Americans throughout the film. The point of the movie, alongside "Flags of out Fathers," was to humanize both sides so audiences could be shown that they were in fact human beings like themselves.

        On the shooting of the POWs, I actually regarded that scene as unrealistic in that the Marines probably would have just shot them right off the bat. The mutual hatred on both sides was very strong and prisoners were rarely taken, to the point where US commanders had to repeatedly issue direct orders to the combat units not to shoot Japanese who were trying to surrender. Of course, such orders were frequently ignored.
        Then how do you explain using the last Japanese dressings and morphine to help a wounded Marine?

        Or Watanabe's personal friendship with a lowly enlisted man, which never would take place in the highly disciplined and stratified society of WWII Japan. And no general would ever discipline one of his junior officers in front of the very troops that officer was himself disciplining. The Japanese military machine was built upon absolute obedience no matter what. Nothing less was acceptable at any level.

        I don't believe you can find a Marine survivor of Iwo who felt that the Japanese dis-played any reluctance or compassion towards them.

        The Japanese were proud of saying "Be resolved that Duty is heavier than a mountain, but Death is lighter than a feather.

        All in all,
        extremely disappointing.

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        • #5
          Was disappointed also by this one ,when Flags of our Fathers was rather good.
          That rug really tied the room together

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          • #6
            Some nice artsy videography but other wise kind of a dude.
            We hunt the hunters

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            • #7
              Hard to be a victim when you erase your history. Buy American!

              My worst jump story:
              My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
              As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
              No lie.

              ~
              "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
              -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
                Hard to be a victim when you erase your history. Buy American!

                Now that is the REAL ugly American.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                  Now that is the REAL ugly American.
                  I take it you never spent much time in racist Japan.
                  My worst jump story:
                  My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                  As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                  No lie.

                  ~
                  "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                  -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
                    I take it you never spent much time in racist Japan.
                    One of the most xenophobic societies on the planet.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Then how do you explain using the last Japanese dressings and morphine to help a wounded Marine?
                      When did that happen?

                      Or Watanabe's personal friendship with a lowly enlisted man, which never would take place in the highly disciplined and stratified society of WWII Japan. And no general would ever discipline one of his junior officers in front of the very troops that officer was himself disciplining. The Japanese military machine was built upon absolute obedience no matter what. Nothing less was acceptable at any level.
                      There were many exceptions to the norm, and General Kuribayashi (Watanabe's character) along with his compatriot General Ushijima on Okinawa were known to be more relaxed around their subordinates, with Ushijima in particular described as a "fatherly officer who disdained shows of anger." He was one of the few IJA officers who ordered his junior officers from striking their subordinates. While Ushijima was more laid back than Kuribayashi, their dispositions were similar and it wouldn't be inconceivable for such a thing to have happened at Iwo.

                      I don't believe you can find a Marine survivor of Iwo who felt that the Japanese dis-played any reluctance or compassion towards them.
                      That POW was eventually bayoneted though, no? Historically there were two Americans briefly taken by the Japanese at Iwo, and they were indeed murdered (their bodies were recovered later). However, there was no indication that they ever met Nishi or Kuribayashi (that's Hollywood). While I agree that this movie, like every other is not totally accurate, I feel that on the who it did a pretty decent job.
                      Last edited by BobTheBarbarian; 14 Nov 15, 09:42.
                      Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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                      • #12
                        I didn't see it anything close to "revisionism" or the Japanese as "victims" in any universal sense.

                        Unless seeing the Japanese as anything less than a monolithic horde is revisionism.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          I finally had an opportunity to watch this last night ....
                          It took you that long?
                          Seems like you might have been avoiding it, and based on some of Clint's movies I can understand that.
                          However, Flags of our Fathers was excellent, and this is something that was made almost at the same time, just from a different angle.

                          Revisionism?
                          I thought the title gave it away; "Letters", as in the ones written by the Japanese themselves.
                          How did you make yourself look in your last letter home?

                          What I recall from that movie was startling attention to detail that was dead-on from a technical point of view.
                          More importantly, the step-by-step demolishing of the system and the set of beliefs that lead Japan into that war in the first place and ruined them in the process of fighting it.
                          Starting with that Kempai-Tai fellow being busted to the Infantry for refusing to obey a ludicrous order, all the way through the wastage of life caused by a really twisted code, and on to the supreme effort and sacrifice proving futile in the end ... that is what I got from that movie.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
                            When did that happen?
                            You obviously have not watched this film after all or you would know "when it happened".

                            The Japanese during WWII were pathologically xenophobic, murdering our POW's in death camps, and would never have concerned themselves about a wounded US Marine unless they wanted to interrogate him under torture. They certainly would not have wasted their last morphine on him.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                              Revisionism?
                              I thought the title gave it away; "Letters", as in the ones written by the Japanese themselves.
                              How did you make yourself look in your last letter home?
                              Since I'm not a fiercely indoctrinated, pathologically xenophobic WWII Japanese soldier my letters are irrelevant. Nice try at throwing out a strawman.

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