Burmese Harp
Burmese Harp (1956)

Kon Ichikawa's Harp of Burma is an anti-war film about a Japanese soldier who decides to reject his superiors and bury the bodies of his slain comrades. The film is also known as Burmese Harp.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 21, 1956
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This is the pic that brought international acclaim to Ichikawa.

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Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

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.

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Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

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.

Emanuel Levy

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.

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Don Willmott

Fascinating stuff.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Thoroughly engrossing in its humanism and often heartbreakingly beautiful in both tone and image.

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John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

most gentle of war dramas

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Ceri Thomas

From start to finish, there's a stirring humanism to Ichikawa's little seen classic. A powerful and affecting anti-war movie.

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More reviews for Burmese Harp

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Little too moralizing and sentimental for my tastes. Some nice compositions though...
Randy Tippy
In order to wage war, in order for human beings to kill other human beings on a massive scale, there must be some rationalization. Historically, we, as… More
Lucas Martins
A beautiful and moving film, Biruma no Tategoto (The Burmese Harp) is a terrific work by Mr. Ichikawa. With unforgettable actings, just like the screenplay and… More
Lanning : )
A very good anti-war movie coming from the generation of Japanese who were part of the World War II experience. Soldiers who die and are left on foreign soil,… More
Jan Marc Macababayao
A Kon Ichikawa work charged with sincerity and depth, The Burmese Harp explores the fraternal relationship in a brethren of World War II Japanese soldiers.… More
danny d
one of the most beautiful and powerful films ever made. mizushima is a heroic character yet tragic at the same time. the film could have used another 20… More