8:00 PM, 7th June, 2007
Letters from Iwo Jima is the second movie by Clint Eastwood, the first being Flags of Our Fathers, about the Battle of Iwo Jima that was fought in the last months of World War 2 between Allied forces and the Japanese. Many military historians argue that it was because of this battle, and the high number of American casualties, that the decision was made to use nuclear weapons for the first time. Hopefully it will always remain the last. After seeing Letters from Iwo Jima youd have to agree. Whereas Flags of Our Fathers tells the story of the battle from an American perspective, Letters from Iwo Jima tells the Japanese side of the battle. Eastwood's directing is fantastic and he is getting better every movie he makes, bringing an incredible amount of depth and dimension to his films and the roles of the characters. Much like Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line which portrayed soldiers as ordinary men doing and suffering extraordinary things, Eastwood portrays the Japanese in Letters from Iwo Jima as ordinary people who were simply defending their country against foreign invaders and were forced to do some extraordinary things. His parallels between past and present events are clear and deliberate. It is rare to see and hear the losing side of the story when it comes to war. This is especially so with the Japanese in World War 2. Letters from Iwo Jima is an intense movie that makes us realise that no matter who we are, war is hell. This movie will in years to come be undoubtedly recognised as one of Eastwood's finest as a director and is a must see this semester. '