Ningen no joken I (The Human Condition I) (No Greater Love)
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Ningen no joken I (The Human Condition I) (No Greater Love)
Originally titled Ningen No Joken, No Greater Love is the first of Japanese filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi's Human Condition trilogy. Drawing from his own experiences, Kobayashi weaves the tale of a Japanese pacifist, trying to get by as best he can during World War II. Tatsuya Nakadai plays the leading role of a mine supervisor, whose kindly treatment of POW laborers incurs the wrath of his superiors. As the war in the Pacific rages on, Japan begins suffering heavy losses and military humiliations, yet still Nakadai adheres to his principles. Ultimately overwhelmed by events, Nakadai is… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a richly rewarding visual and human experience in all its bleakness."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"Based on Jumpei Gomikawa's ambitious novel and seasoned with Kobayashi's own experiences, this overly melodramatic trilogy set in Japanese-occupied Manchuria depicts the dehumanizing brutality of war with on-the-nose pedantry, never subtext, and offers li"
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi's landmark 1958-61 trilogy about a man's attempt to struggle with his humanity in an inhumane world is a rigorous but deeply rewarding viewing experience."
‑ Stan Hall, Oregonian
"In keeping with the grandeur of its title, The Human Condition is anything but modest in scope and ambition."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"it is still powerful and uncompromising, but it is also strident, tortuous, and hateful"
‑ Paul Brenner,
"A masterpiece on all fronts."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"ItÔ(TM)s [star Tatsuya] Nakadai who makes this impressive yet flawed screed worth your time commitment."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"It all sounds like a downer, and Human Condition is an indisputably solemn film. Yet it also possesses a restless vitality, with hard cuts juxtaposing abject brutality with pastoral tranquility and romantic longing."
‑ Matthew Connolly, Slant Magazine
"'Although it is set in the past, its universal themes of love, war, and man's struggle to understand his place in the world are as relevant today as they've ever been.'"
‑ Derek Smith, Apollo Guide