Letters From Iwo Jima

Rated 4.0

Letters From Iwo Jima Letters From Iwo Jima, winner of the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film, is the second of Clint Eastwood’s two dramas about the battle of Iwo Jima in WWII. With a Japanese cast and script, it shows us the war on Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view. Like its predecessor, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters gives us a grimly earnest picture of war from the perspective of individual combatants, and portrays the events of this particular episode in terms that mix the heroic and the ironic, and verge on tragedy. While the drama in Flags spirals out of and around the legendary image of U.S. troops raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi, Letters has as its premise the plight of honor-bound Japanese troops isolated on the island and forbidden to surrender. In the early portions, Letters plays a little like an impersonal docudrama. But its somewhat delayed emotional charge builds, slowly and irresistibly, through the intertwined stories of several doomed Japanese soldiers. Tom Stern’s brilliantly gloomy, charcoal-gray cinematography often gives the impression of black and white, with sparse bursts of blood-red or flame-yellow for pointed contrast.