This strange, interesting, gentle, and intensely contemporary film (for its time) explores the relationships between the dedicated soldiers and the dropouts during the Vietnam conflict. Cross cultures come into play as well in the picture as Japanese "host families" afford a succession
of one-night shelters to GIs who have elected to desert from the US armed forces while on leave in Tokyo. Sykes, whose motive for deserting is no more than exhaustion, is juxtaposed against Antonacci, an antiwar ideolog. The Japanese "Deserters' Aid Committee" members interact with the two, with
one another, and with other deserters in interesting, telling, and often amusing ways. The film is nonjudgmental and raises more questions than it answers. Taking no political stance, the screenwriter and the director explore the attitudes, compulsions, and involvements of all the characters. The
dialog is a combination of English and subtitled Japanese. Director Teshigahara made a considerable splash with his WOMAN IN THE DUNES in 1964.
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