The Human Condition lll: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

Rated NR 190 minutes 1970

A Soldier's Prayer (Ningen No Joken III) was the final entry in Japanese filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi's Human Condition trilogy. As in 1958's No Greater Love (see entry 23818) and 1961's The Road to Eternity (see entry 23819), the protagonist is the pacifistic Kaji, played by Tatsuya Nakadai. Strong-armed into the Japanese military during World War II, Kaji has reluctantly learned to kill on the battlefields. Upon his country's surrender, Kaji gives himself up to the Russian troops, hoping to receive better treatment than he had at the hands of his Japanese superiors. But his hopes are dashed once more, and he is subject to cruelty upon cruelty while imprisoned in a Manchurian POW camp. A Soldier's Prayer, like its predecessors, was based on the epic multipart novel by Jumpei Gomigawa. In sum total, the three Human Condition films run for nearly ten hours.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Film Credits

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

Writer: Zenzo Matsuyama and Koichi Inagaki

Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura, Yûsuke Kawazu, Chishu Ryu, Taketoshi Naitô, Kyôko Kishida, Reiko Hitomi, Keijiro Morozumi and Koji Kiyomura

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