Fires of the Plain (Nobi)
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Kon Ichikawa's adaptation of Shohei Ooka's novel Nobi takes place in the Philippines at the end of World War II. The Japanese army is in hasty retreat from the incoming American forces. The soldiers have also been warned that the Americans will take no live prisoners, and so their flight is all the more desperate. One group of men harbors a soldier named Tamura (Eiji Funakoshi) suffering from the last stages of tuberculosis. Knowing he is facing imminent death anyway, Tamura is able to resist submitting to the chaos and demoralization that overtake his fellow soldiers (who fall so far… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This downbeat but fervent pic goes much further than the accepted war masterpieces in detailing humanity in crisis, and the spark left in one man. Production one of the most searing comments on war yet made."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"No other film on the horrors of war has gone anywhere near as far as Kon Ichikawa's 1959 Japanese feature."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"... a grim and gruesome and at times macabre autopsy of its (selectively Japanese) victims."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Magnificently shot in widescreen black and white, this is a truly harrowing work."
‑ , Film4
"Packs a powerful antiwar message. As with Eastwood's Iwo Jima, it dispels the myth that every Japanese soldier had the suicidal desire to die for his country."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"A searing anti-war film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The scabrous fury of Fires on the Plain feels closer to the heart of the notoriously hard-to-pin-down Japanese director."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"The world that director Ichikawa brings to the screen (based on the 1951 novel by Shohei Ooka) is difficult to bear--a world of brutality, pain, death, destruction, and cannibalism -- in short, a world of war."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The performance of Eiji Funakoshi as the straggler cannot help but make you feel a terrible sense of the human waste and pathos represented in the ruin of this poor man."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Kon Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain is another searing anti-war exercise that makes its point simply by showing the suffering and degradation of Japanese soldiers abandoned and left to their own devices in the Philippines as World War II winds down."
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"One of film's great statements of pacificism; search it out."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
More reviews for Fires of the Plain (Nobi) on Rotten Tomatoes