The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi DVD
"Respect your parents and be loyal to the Emperor." This is the worldview from which he sprang-the traditional values that so often dominated prewar Japanese films. The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi (Nishizumi senshacho-den) is a "humanist" war film based on the true story of Japanese war hero Kojiro Nishizumi. We follow him from his youthful ambition of following his father into the military through his war service in China. The Marco Polo Bridge incident in July 1937 leads to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), the first act in the great conflagration known as the Second World War.
The picture is packed with exciting battle scenes, superbly staged by director Kouzaburou Yoshimura, who began his career at Shochiko Studios in 1929, where he worked as assistant director to the legendary Yasujiro Ozu before emerging as a major film director. Under Yoshimura's assured vision, the themes of benevolence and self-sacrifice are given as much weight as those of serving the Emperor and the glorification of war. Amidst all the killing, Nishizumi remains true to his code of honor, steadfastly governed more by the old ways than the new. Such humanitarian sentiments soon vanished from Japanese cinemas. The government's Office of Public Information, created in 1940, reflected the wishes of the military by imposing a strict, regimented code throughout the film industry, after which most Japanese war films more closely resembled those of Nazi Germany.
The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi was a huge box-office hit and Shochiko's biggest money-maker of 1940. It remains one of Japan's finest war films.
Directed by Kouzaburou Yoshimura. Starring Shozaburo Abe, Munenobu Aburai, Shotaro Fujimatsu, Chiematsu Hanamura. Japan, 1940, B&W, 124 mins. Japanese dialogue, English subtitles.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
- Historical Background Slideshow
- Photo Gallery
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)