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"More interwar Japanese cinema." Topic

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rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2022 6:32 a.m. PST

I watched two more Japanese films set in China during the early phase of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

The first was "Mud and Soldiers" from 1939. This is based on the novel of the same name and follows an infantry squad that is part of an amphibious landing and shows a number of interesting weapons in use, such as battalion guns and knee mortars. The squad portrayed stil uses the crappy Type 11 LMG with that unusual hopper feed. I think the novel was published in the US as "Wheat and Soldiers." The Chinese forces are shown only as vague figure in the distance. There is also a scene showing the awful fate of refugees fleeing the fighting.
The second movie is "Five Scouts" from 1938. This film details a mission by a sergeant and four riflemen to investigate Chinese positions. It is also fairly good. Both movies are rather understated when compared to US cinema of the same period. I find it interesting that the Chinese are not demonized in either movie. Ihe directors were mainly concerned with the daily lives of their troops for the benefit of audiences back home. I watched both on YouTube with English subs. The subs could be a little wonky at times, but since my Japanese is at a preschool level, who am I to criticize the efforts of the people that uploaded those old films.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2022 6:40 a.m. PST

Mud and Soldiers YouTube link

Five Scouts YouTube link

14Bore26 Feb 2022 6:46 a.m. PST

Well I have watched German films so Japanese are logically next.

14Bore26 Feb 2022 6:49 p.m. PST

Watched Mud and Soldiers, Japanese army is my least knowledgeable so was quite interesting.

14Bore27 Feb 2022 2:36 p.m. PST

Five Scounts is even a bit better, more dialog.

14Bore27 Feb 2022 4:42 p.m. PST

Fighting Soldiers 1939

First half lots of camp scenes, second have more action but it's not subtitled. But interesting especially if you have a Japanese army I would think.

14Bore28 Feb 2022 2:17 p.m. PST

Looked up Mud and Soldiers and the website was saying they used a fair amount of newsreel footage, I suspect all three did but done well. All treated the Chinese as a enemy barely seen, out of 3 only 1 showed a dead Chinese soldier. Fighting Soldiers had little dialog so not knowing what was said isn't that critical.

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