The Human Condition I

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Year Released: 1959
Rating: 3.0

All-too-noble Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai) gets sent to a prison camp full of imprisoned Chinese soldiers and wants to treat them as humanely as possible, but his co-workers/supervisors are despotic and cruel. Fascinating as a condemnation of the treatment of the Chinese by the Japanese - Kobayashi was a pacifist - muted, to a degree, by an unwieldy running time full of patches of dead space. Nakadai's unyielding faith in the nobility of all people, regardless of race, is inspiring though punishing, as he endures constant pain and suffering for his efforts.