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The Best of 2006: 'Letters from Iwo Jima'

Letters from Iwo Jima

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Letter from Iwo Jima is yet another amazing movie directed by Clint Eastwood. If you didn't know Clint Eastwood was a director, you're missing out, dudes! This is one of two films Eastwood made about the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II (the other is Flags of Our Fathers which is my number 5 pick). This film, unlike many WWII films made by the US (for the exception of Tora, Tora, Tora!), is told from the Japanese side, which is what makes it so fascinating and eye opening.

Since we as a nation are so used to the American side of the story, it's quite interesting to hear it from the losing side. Eastwood however is a good enough director to know how to make it honest and truthful without getting too sentimental or in any way political. You get to see the innocent Japanese soldiers and of course the fascists in their midst. One can also feel a lot of respect from the Japanese general in the accounts whose attitudes toward the Americans where much like how Robert E. Lee respected the Union during the Civil War. When you see our protagonists attack the Americans, you can't help to feel conflicted since you're with the Japanese in their story. That's what makes it so captivating.

The film's narration is all taken from actual letters recovered from the island much like the film, Legionnaire (about the French Foreign Legion-- another great war film) is told all from a recovered diary. Ken Watanabe from The Last Samurai and Batman Begins stars.