FILM: Sakamoto-uke | Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

Visa Mäntysalo Film Supermandag
Lillesalen 60 / 40

“Once there was a place where the earth was soaked in blood and tears. And that is where the brightest flowers grew.”

How do we distinguish between right and wrong during warfare? Is there strength in surrendering? The year is 1942, and Jack Celliers played by David Bowie, has just been taken prisoner by Japanese forces in Java where he is asked to account for the reason behind his surrender.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a film that focuses on the humanity of those caught in war. The lens is lifted out from the trenches and instead captures the powerful psychological forces that drive our decisions. Themes of honor, guilt, shame, cultural clashes and even questions of sexuality are all deeply rooted sources of conflict in the inner battles of the men we see on screen.

The film is based on the true events of Sir Laurens van der Post’s experiences as a Japanese prisoner and is regarded by many as an underrated masterpiece – notably compared to films such as Bridge on the River Kwai. The visuals are also accompanied by a memorable score by Sakamoto which won a BAFTA for Best Film Music.

Nagisa Ôshima
123 min
English and Japanese dialogue


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