Biruma no Tategoto (The Burmese Harp)
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Biruma no Tategoto (The Burmese Harp)
Set against the final days of World War II, The Burmese Harp portrays the experiences of a group of exhausted, war-scarred Japanese soldiers as they prepare to return to Japan. The film focuses on Shoji Yasui, a soldier known to his comrades for his harp playing, who fails to convince a resistant company to surrender and is presumed dead when a battle destroys their hillside encampment. To rejoin his fellow soldiers, Shoji steals the robes of a Buddhist monk and begins to make his way across the countryside. But along the way, he becomes fixated on the hundreds of abandoned, unburied war… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Kon Ichikawa's 1956 antiwar film was widely hailed at the time of its release for its power and commitment, though by today's standards it's likely to appear uncomfortably didactic."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"This is the pic that brought international acclaim to Ichikawa."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The Burmese Harp, just as the titular instrument suggests songs without filling them out, is a slight film that suggests the heavy human toll of war without actually presenting it."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"This lyrical antiwar film is the picture that brought the brilliant Japanese director international renown."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"much like the soldier Mizushima dressed in the robes of a Buddhist monk, Ichikawa's war film tries on borrowed spiritualist attire and finds that it is an unexpectedly perfect fit."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"Nominated in the first year of the foreign-language Oscar, Ichikawa's art film was innovative at the time with its anti-war spiritual message and lyrical imagery."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Fascinating stuff."
‑ Don Willmott,
"Thoroughly engrossing in its humanism and often heartbreakingly beautiful in both tone and image."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"most gentle of war dramas"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"From start to finish, there's a stirring humanism to Ichikawa's little seen classic. A powerful and affecting anti-war movie."
‑ Ceri Thomas, Film4
More reviews for Biruma no Tategoto (The Burmese Harp) on Rotten Tomatoes