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The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love (Ningen no joken) with Tatsuya Nakadai


With Tatsuya Nakadai in person

Dir. Masaki Kobayashi. 1959, 208 mins. 35mm. With Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama. A pacifist conscripted into the Japanese army against his will, Kobayashi spent the entire war as a grunt private, and subsequently channeled his grueling experience into the epic The Human Condition. Drawn from a six-volume novel by Jumpei Gomikawa, The Human Condition is often counted among the greatest of moviegoing experiences. Part I introduces protagonist Kaji (Nakadai) and his sweetheart, Michiko (Aratama), both working for a steel company in Japanese-controlled Manchuria. Self-righteous leftist Kaji takes a new job at the company’s mines, but when his conscience is upset by the inhuman treatment of Chinese workers and he resists the casual brutality of the military police, he is drafted to fight for Japan.

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