Humanism as a way of life, but not in this life.

Kaji is japanese, and he’s not really proud of it, specially now with the Second World War. Kaji is a humanist, but even if he enforces the autorities to improove the situation of the workers at his commanding possition, they won’t do it. Kaji has a wife, but with time they will begin to feel distant. Kaji hates war, but he’s obliged to take decissions for the good of his country generals and officials, as if he were a mere soldier. Kaji avoids war, but encounters it when he works at a mine, when the workers are chinese war prisoners, with whom he has to talk and convince that he’s a man they can trust. Kaji trusts a lot in the man around him, but they betray him at every step he makes, every decission he takes gets backlashed, he finally gets some kind of love-hate relationship with those who he tried to protect and trust, they admire what he has made, but they criticise him for not doing it before. Kaji ends in this film as a man needing the compassion of his loved ones, but he doesn’t receive it, except from his wife; so as we watch him we feel the opression and the need of compassion, and we end up giving it to him. The kind of movies that make you feel this way for fictional characters are rare, specially on this level of thought and feeling. (more…)