MovieChat Forums > Hadashi no Gen (1983) Discussion > is this film pro-Japan anti-American?

is this film pro-Japan anti-American?


or just anti-war in general?

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[deleted]

I don't think propaganda was the point of it. The fact that the people hated the father because his antiwar beliefs doesn't speak very well of japanese people.

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I'd agree that it's "anti-war in general". Having said that, there was a profound anti-Japanese-military angle to it. It's clear that the makers of this movie blamed the Japanese military machine for starting a futile war that they could never win, and refusing to surrender after Hiroshima thereby necessitating the nuking of Nagasaki. It never appears to blame America for anything.

It predominantly looks at the war through the eyes of a kid who's simply trying to survive, and help his family survive.

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What?

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What 2?

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au contraire, this film spends the first 5 minutes with the standard "We didn't deserve to get nuked" garbage. And the rest of it just whines and whines. "Grave of the Fireflies" is a much better film on the same subject, without the whining.

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Technically, no one deserves to get nuked, especially the harmless civilians. Now, I'm not saying that Japan is an innocent victim. Under Emperor Hirohito, the Japanese military invaded other Asian countries, and committed unspeakable to crimes agains the people there, and also towards their POWs during the war. Their ego had gone up tremendously after defeated Russia in the early 1900s, and, combined with their Shinto background (which basically states that the Japanese were created by divine beings and the rest of the world was not), they basically felt that no one could stand a chance against their military.

Now, Japan's civilians did no wrong whatsoever. By dropping the bomb on them, we essentially murdered and cause immeasurable suffering to people who were simply living out their lives under the rule of a dictator.

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As Robert McNamara (who was involved in the firebombing of Tokyo, in which even more people died than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki)said in the Fog of War, had the US lost the war, they would have been tried for war crimes. Had I been Truman I would probably have made the same decision, and I suppose the true horror of what the atomic bomb could do could only have been realised after it was used, but people were hung at Nuremburg for less than what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Imagine if Japan or Germany had invented and used the atomic bomb first, but at a point too late for it to win them the war. Those who ordered its use would certainly have been executed and the use of Nuclear Weapons outlawed as a crime against humanity. I doubt the US would have been as forgiving as Japan has been.

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The Japanese government was not 'under' Emperor Hirohito in anything other than a very ceremonial sense. Hirohito was not the decision maker in the conduct of the war - that was Prime Minister Tojo, who was essentially responsible for the entire duration of the conflict.

People take Hiroshima and Nagasaki completely out of the correct historical context - civilian populations had been targeted freely since the very start of the war. Since before that if consider the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War by the German 'Kondor Legion'. In reality every major participant in World War II targeted their enemies civilian populations. The Germans bombed English and Russian cities, the English bombed German cities, the Americans bombed German and Japanese cities and the Japanese targeted civilian populations in China.

The Atomic bombings were undertaken as a less bloody way of ending the Pacific Campaign. The alternative was a massive conventional invasion of the Japanese mainland. The casualty projections of that were in the millions - and the brunt would have been borne by Japanese civilians.

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Just anti-war in general. It portrayed war and militarism as the cause of the trouble. It pointed out the wrongness of the Japanese government and equally brutal response of the atomic bombings. The war was brutality being exchanged for brutality due to people's unquestioning patriotism. In the second film they even say it was important Japan accept the new constitution the US created for Japan so I really wouldn't say it was anti-American.

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Actually, Gen's father was ostracized due to his anti-military stance. Granted, this detail gets more exposure in the manga, but it's still there. He blames the Japanese military for pushing their country into a futile war.

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well positions and poles only exists on people's mind.
if you watch the movie, gen's father answer your question.
the novel is excelent. touching. and what makes this film special is that you see through gen eyes: that family is more important than any nation.

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This is such a great, classic animé. I need to dig out my Streamline Pictures DVD and watch it again soon. The manga naturally sounds alluring; i may hunt it down sometime. I don't immediately remember the nuances of the movie, but i do remember it basically being an anti-war film. According to memory, i wouldn't call it propaganda. Men Behind The Sun is stunning propaganda.

"Cain and Abel will go to Heaven... if they can make it through Hell!"
-Los Hijos Del Topo

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@sean_mcg, well said.

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is this film pro-Japan anti-American?


neither. it just shoes the effects of a nuclear detonation on innocent civilians and the struggles of the survivors.




When there's no more room in hell, The dead will walk the earth...

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neither. it just shoes the effects of a nuclear detonation on innocent civilians and the struggles of the survivors.


^^^This.

IRL, Keiji Nakazawa's father was part of an antiwar group that had small numbers and little effect, but unlike, say, the White Rose in Germany, wasn't suppressed nearly as brutally.

In the original manga, the anti-Japanese military angle comes across a lot stonger than in this film, in which it is alluded to briefly, but the film otherwise concentrates on what Xcalate-1776 wrote about above.

"I don't deduce, I observe."

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It's anti-insanity.

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