aka KAMIKZAZE OKINAWA ZERO (1971)
Lang: Japanese | Subs: English
Release Date: 11 September 1973 (USA)
The Battle of Okinawa became known as the "Typhoon of Steel." Told from the Japanese perspective, this war drama captures the events of World War II's Battle of Okinawa - a massive amphibious assault by U.S. troops that left more than 150,000 Japanese civilians dead. With the Allies wanting to capture Okinawa to stage a full-scale invasion of Japan, the battle raged from March through June 1945 with a ferocity unlike any other.
Battle of Okinawa is a film directed by the now legendary Kihachi Okamoto. It stars Tatsuya Nakadai and Tetsuro "I'm in every Japanese film" Tamba. Both show off their acting skills in this film and deliver outstanding performances. Don't get me wrong though, there are dozens of actors in this film with almost equal screen time as these two men. This is definitely an ensemble piece on one of the most gruesome slaughters in human history.
This film is NOT easy to watch. It is MUCH more violent than "Letters From Iwo Jima" and as in "Iwo" we see how fanatical the Japanese army was at this point in history. Being taken prisoner was not an option and losing meant death. This notion is even implemented by civilians who in this movie kill themselves in droves.
Tatsuya Nakadai's character is one of the few characters who believes that suicide in not the only option in defeat. He is the western voice in the film for his character studied in America.
This is a hard core war film that takes no prisoners.