Film series looks at world under Nazi rule

By Kevin Mcgue

Cinema Vera (www.cinemavera.com) is running a series of films about the world under Nazi influence until Aug 26. The lineup includes the classic "Casablanca" (1942), the recent films "The Reader" (2008) and 'Inglourious Basterds" (2009), as well the Three Stooges in "You Natzy Spy!" (1941), the first film to satirize Hitler.

Other war-related films will be screened as Shin-Bungeiza in Ikebukuro (www.shin-bungeiza.com) marks the anniversary of the end of WWII with a program of films set in Japan during the post-war period through Aug 19. The series begins with "The Longest Day in Japan" (1967) about the effect of the emperor’s surrender.

© Metropolis magazine

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I wonder if they'll show "The Rape of Nanjing" or other movies dealing with the effects of colonization, or if it'll just be romanticized Western dramas and shows of how this nation suffered.

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You could also show "Schindler's list" or "Saving private Ryan". But I think this would be far too critical for the Japanese public.

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Seems fitting that they would teach Japan about Nazism using the three stooges. I doubt they'll be anything on the topic of Nanjing or Unit 731.

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Smithinjapan Nanjing and unit 731 were Japanese atrocities under the same time period. Of course to be fair it would be jus as difficult to get movies about American atrocities in World War II shown either. There were plenty of atrocities in World War II by all participants, but only the losers got credited with it. I think fire bombing of Japanese cities and German cities could be considered as war atrocities as mostly civilians were killed and that would also include the dropping of the atomic bombs. But again the winners get to write the history anyway they want.

As a Marine Vietnam War veteran I think much of what we did there with napalm and white phosphorus artillery shells, along with Agent Orange and some village mass killings would today be considered war crimes. But I don't expect movies about that to show up in America. I have an odd view for an American. If it is a war crime if the enemy does it, then it is a war crime if we do it as well.

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Readers, please focus your comments on what is in the story.

SamuraiBlue. "Shindler`s List" and "Private Ryan" do deal with Nazis.

That said the other posters do have a point. Japan typically looks at Europe during the memorial periods of the war. That of the victimization of Japan in the two nuclear attacks.

Japan shows a profound degree of cluelessness in dealing with her own history during the war. Electing instead to escapism rather than confronting a very difficult past.

I have far more respect for Germany for how they have dealt with the legacy of war. There is no "poor me" playing the victim going on. Instead the nation looks hard at how Germany initiated the steps to war, carried out barbaric practices and led the nation to ultimate self destruction.

Japan would do well to learn to honestly look at her own history instead of focusing on every one else`s or wishing it away by focusing only on her hardship. Japan initiated the Asian war and her leaders brought on the horrific self destruction that led to so many innocent people on both sides being killed.

The real clowns here are the people who refuse to deal with war honestly and openly.

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I wonder if they will show Pearl Harbor or any films depicted the forced repatriation and forced labor of many Koreans. I'm sick of one sided history. That is a great thing about The US. Its easier to get both sides of the story. Many if not most young people in japan think that The states just dropped a bomb on Japan for no reason. They dont know the dark terrible history of Japan former Empire.

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Not too sure about the festival but been watching a few good movies every year around this time on JTV.

Previous years included Tora Tora Tora, The Bridge over the River Kwai, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and many documentaries.

This year we got Flags of our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, 442nd CRT Live with Honor Die with Dignity(very good Documentary) and of course the compulsory Grave of the Fireflies on Monday.

As for Private Ryan it was only a true hit in the US for obvious reasons. Wish they would show "Empire of the Sun".

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These fictitious films about the world under Nazi rule do no justice for what real happened in WWII and the holocaust. These films are sugar coated unlike war movies that deal more honesty as to what happened in history.

Two movie series recommended that should be watched and discussed are:

The movie series "Band of Brothers" does a good job of depicting WWII from the American G.Is. perspective.

The movie series "The Pacific" should be shown in Japanese theaters since Japan seems to lack movies that tells the truth.

Along with the films, reading biography books on people who lived through the experience in the Pacific, in Europe, and the holocaust will change a person perspective on life.

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The war related films in question are not documentaries, so I think a lot of breath is wasted in the above comments.

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Casablanca is a love story - hardly a world under Nazi rule. Inglorious Basterds was a alternate universe fantasy, hardly a world under Nazi rule.

Life is Beautiful and Jakob the Liar might've been better choices. And Stalingrad.

Maybe the headline is misleading.

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Well this article is wrong in that probably the 1940 film "The Great Dictator" with Charlie Chaplin was before the 3 Stooges film if the article date of 1941 is true. Some the list of films don't make much sense to me if they wanted to show life under the Nazi. "Sound of Music" would have been a better example. This is a nice list on wiki List and a list of documentary films too which seem more appropriate as "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich".

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Forgot... The film "The Visas that Saved Lives "; PBS documentary, "Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness"; and the 2001 film, "Visas and Virtue"; all about Chiune Sugihara.

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Sorry, but "Sound of Silence" was only accurate till the marriage anything after that is fiction, pure and simple. A quick research shows that the family left via a regular train way before the "Anschluss" happened. This is confirmed by surviving family members.

People need to get beyond the holly-wood fabrications in movies.

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My bad "Sound of music" been listening to Simon & Carfunkel.

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Casablanca is a love story - hardly a world under Nazi rule

have you seen Casablanca? If you had, you would know that the Vichy regime plays a large part of the background in this story. Nazi major Strasser is a significant character. Victor Laszlo is on the run from the Nazis, and the all important letters of transit are from two dead Nazi courriers.

What else do you want for it to be relevant?

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gaijinfoAug. 13, 2011 - 08:59AM JST

Seems fitting that they would teach Japan about Nazism using the three stooges. I doubt they'll be anything on the topic of Nanjing or Unit 731.

You can find on youtube russian documental film 黑太阳731. You can see and hear members of unit 731.

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Three films that should be on the list (if they're not): Sophie Scholl, The Sorrow and the Pity, and Claude Lanzmann's Shoah, which is just over 9.5 hours of incredible documentary.

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ChristopherBlackwell: " I think fire bombing of Japanese cities and German cities could be considered as war atrocities as mostly civilians were killed and that would also include the dropping of the atomic bombs."

Hey, I'm not arguing with you -- I think they were war atrocities, and I think the atomic bombings to be among the worst war crimes in history -- my point was that only one side will be shown in terms of the Japanese military and Japan. It'll be how Japan suffered during, and how much more they suffered after the war (then probably a climax with how much they rebuilt after while all the while gloriously giving their lives to the cause via 'salary-man'!). They're not going to show movies about the death march in Indonesia or how they murdered thousands in Nanjing -- they'll show 1960s black and white love stories under a nazi backdrop and then how much this nation suffered... nothing in between, and nothing that would make Japan stop and think about how it may have played a part in the world's suffering.

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Got to disagree, many movies like "Grave of the Fireflies" never specifically state who did he fire-bombing of Kobe. The only hint are the outlines of the planes.

I named a few movies above that are shown often and those don't show Japan as the victims or the japanese as kind jailors. Not surprising as those movies weren't done by japanese.

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It"S ME: "Got to disagree, many movies like "Grave of the Fireflies" never specifically state who did he fire-bombing of Kobe. The only hint are the outlines of the planes."

An absolutely amazing movie, and one that poignantly shows the horrors and victims or war -- but how does that negate my statement about Japan only showing movies which make Japan out to be the victim? How about movies on unit 751? Rape of Nanjing? The Burma/Thailand death railroad? The death march?

Nah! Let's show Casa Blanca instead and pretend we are actually debating on Naziism and it's impact on the world. Sheesh. Hell, they'd even show the grossly inaccurate and ridiculous 'Yamato' before they showed anything that might help people understand the nature of war and what countries have done what.

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I am an idiot, I am very upset that this film event does not address Japanese imperialism because of my hatred of Japan despite the fact that I have never visited this country.

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As rule historical films in all countries is result of propaganda of some state ideas. But for build shine future people need knowledge about history as it. Because very important that documentation films must show historical real fact for example: 1. who sponsor of war? 2. who have profit from war? 3. What wrote Hitler in Main Kampf about Japan? 4. What education of Hitler? 5. Who was sponsor of Hitler? 6. Why US known about Perl-Harbor but don't defense her? 7. What told about war between Germany and Russia Harry Truman? 8. How Japan and Germany really divide of China? 9. How USA, England and Russia "divide of world" in Yalta? 10. How they "divide of world" on Potsdam conference? 11. Why some Japanese begin make business with USA and don't make sepukku? 12. and many, many other... aims and motives of historical leaders?

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Just a few clarifications: The Three Stooges film was released several months before Chaplin's The Great Dictator, and is widely considered the first film to satirize Hitler. Moe Howard was the first American actor to play a parody of Hitler.

Life is beautiful was indeed part of this program: http://cinemavera.com/programs.html

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Longest Day in Japan is one of the best movies i ever saw

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A wee mistake in the Metropolis copy: "You Natzy Spy!" was released in early 1940 (not in 1941), months before Chaplin's masterpiece "The Great Dictator". The sequel short to "You Natzy Spy!" was "I'll Never Heil Again" which was released in 1941, still preceding America's entry into WW2.

Oh a wise guy, eh? Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!

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