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Film: The Human Condition
Kaji, the "hero."

Life and death...
Hope and despair...
Love and truth...
All torn to shreds by war.
- Trailer

Released in 6 acts over 3 entries, The Human Condition is considered Masaki Kobayashi's greatest work: an epic humanist tragedy, nearly 10 hours in length, set against WWII Japan. The production was directly adapted from a six-volume novel by Junpei Gomikawa and on Kobayashi's own experience as a pacifist attempting to survive in WWII Japan.

The film centers on Kaji (played by Tatsuya Nakadai), a smitten scholar with strong convictions in pacifism and socialism. The film presents Kaji attempting to retain his life and soul through various moral and ethical trials - all the while trying to get back to the woman he loves.

The Human Condition is notoriously painful to watch, due to its crushing theme and atmosphere. It is often considered, however, as the greatest singular piece of Japanese cinema ever created for its all-encompassing scope, its incredible ability to utterly dehumanize humanity and its incredible character development.note 


The Human condition has 3 entries:

  • The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959)
  • The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959)
  • The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)


Tropes featured in the film:

High And LowJapanese FilmsIchi the Killer
HeroEpic MovieHow the West Was Won
Howards EndCreator/The Criterion CollectionHunger
Hornets' NestMilitary and Warfare FilmsThe Hunt for Red October
The Thin Red LineWorks Set in World War IIThe Bridge on the River Kwai

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