Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. Japan, 1956. Nikkatsu. Screenplay by Natto Wada, based on the novel by Michio Takeyama. Cinematography by Minoru Yokoyama. Produced by Masayuki Takagi. Music by Akira Ifukube. Production Design by Akira Nakai. Film Editing by Masanori Tsujii. Academy Awards 1956.
Japanese soldiers fighting in World War II meet a tragic defeat on a mountain fortress in this beautifully lyrical drama by Kon Ichikawa. After the war ends, a spiritually hungry young man joins an order of Buddhist monks and treks back to the place where the unfortunate incident took place. Dreamy photography is accentuated by beautiful music and excellent characterizations, a rich film about finding humanity in the worst of circumstances that has many moments of brutal hardship as it does exquisite harmony.