Fires on the plain

Fires on the plain

DVD - 2007 | Japanese | Special ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this Japanese anti-war film, acts of cannibalism bring home the terrifying brutality of war. Japanese troops are in retreat in the Philippines. Supplies run out and discipline crumbles.
Publisher: [New York] : Criterion Collection, c2007
Edition: Special ed
ISBN: 9781934121283
Branch Call Number: JPN 791.4372 N74i1
Language Note: Japanese dialogue, English subtitles
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (105 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 06, 2019

An excellent Japanese language film about the horrors of war. The movie is set in the final months of World War 2 in the Pacific during the campaign that saw the Philippine islands returned to American control. The main character PFC Tamura, is buffeted from one intense encounter after another, dodging Filipino guerillas and American soldiers, and scavenging for food. I should put a warning here that the film has a focus on the cannibalism that occurred amongst Japanese soldiers during the rout of the Imperial Army. There are moments of intense surrealism in the film, such as with the Amida Buddha praising cannibal. I enjoyed the film both as an anti-war piece and as seminal piece of Japanese cinematography.

Mar 31, 2017

A Omniscient - excellent film - if you only watch one Japanese film ever - see this one - the character transformation is amazing - the subject matter is abhorrent - vile - honest - yet completely believable - and sympathetic - being beautifully filmed in B&W - just adds to the timelessness!

Feb 19, 2014

This unforgettable anti-war movie is chillingly realistic.

Jan 16, 2013

"Fires on the Plain (野火)" is a 1959 Japanese war film directed by Kon Ichikawa(市川崑), starring Eiji Funakoshi(船越英二).
The screenplay, written by, Natto Wada(和田夏十: the director's wife), is based on the novel Nobi (published in 1951) by Shohei Ooka (大岡昇平), translated as "Fires on the Plain."
It initially received mixed reviews from both Japanese and international critics concerning its violence, cannibalism and bleak theme, but now this film is generally well regarded.
The DVD includes interviews with Donald Richie (a renowned Japanese-film historian), Micky Curtis (who plays as one of three main soldiers) as well as Kon Ichikawa.
Funakoshi didn't eat for two weeks to prepare for his role as a starving soldier and collapsed during the filming.
He was immediately transferred to a nearby hospital.
The director told him not to take it too seriously and said, "Play a starved soldier by way of acting, not by really being starved."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top