The Human Condition

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, War

Based on a six-volume novel by Junpei Gomikawa, this three-part, 9 1/2-hour epic is a massive antiwar statement about a Japanese man who fights to retain his human dignity during the horrors of WW II. Director Masaki Kobayashi's camera follows Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), who is sent to administer a mining camp in occupied Manchuria. Despite the odds against...read more

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Based on a six-volume novel by Junpei Gomikawa, this three-part, 9 1/2-hour epic is a massive antiwar statement about a Japanese man who fights to retain his human dignity during the horrors of WW II. Director Masaki Kobayashi's camera follows Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), who is sent to administer a mining camp in occupied Manchuria. Despite the odds against him, Kaji tries to keep the volatile situation from exploding in an orgy of violence, but when the oppressed Chinese workers turn against the occupying Japanese, Kaji can do nothing to stop the bloodshed. When he objects to a mass beheading of Chinese workers, the military police charge Kaji with being humane to the enemy and torture him mercilessly. Ordered to the front, Kaji is confronted by indignity after indignity and fights to remember himself as a decent, caring man who is deeply in love with his wife (Michiyo Aratama). Released in three parts--NO GREATER LOVE (1958), ROAD TO ETERNITY (1959), and A SOLDIER'S PRAYER (1961)--this brutal portrait of a brutal war also reflects Kobayashi's own wartime experiences in Manchuria.

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  • Rating: R
  • Review: Based on a six-volume novel by Junpei Gomikawa, this three-part, 9 1/2-hour epic is a massive antiwar statement about a Japanese man who fights to retain his human dignity during the horrors of WW II. Director Masaki Kobayashi's camera follows Kaji (Tatsuy… (more)

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