The Human Condition III

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Year Released: 1961
Rating: 2.5

Final component of the (bloated but earnest) Human Condition trilogy has unbearably noble Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai) under unbearable amount of stress, strain and fatigue (and with a great deal of blood on his hands), as he tries to literally walk home to his beloved wife but keeps getting into skirmishes with the Russians (and is eventually taken prisoner). Brings the series full circle, in a way, but it's fatalistic and not satisfying: if the point being that it's a burden trying to lead a moral existence in the face of corruption and the sickness of violence wasn't already evident by the second film (The Road to Eternity), this movie's message is all too redundant. The black and white imagery for all parts is certainly worth noting (wonderfully grim and foreboding), and Kobayashi proved himself just as adept at working in color (for the painterly Kwaidan a few years later).