Original title: Senjo no Merii Kurisumasu (Merry Christmas on the Battlefield
Director: Nagisa Oshima
Starring: David Bowie
, Tom Conti
, Ryuichi Sakamoto
, Takeshi Kitano
Language: Japanese and English (English Subtitled)
Details: Japan / New Zealand / UK, 124min, Color
The film is primarily an Anglo-Japanese production, based on a story by Laurens Van der Post
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" is set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the island of Java, 1942. This film illustrates the complexities between both cultures the British and the Japanese. It looks at how emotions and interactions develop within the camp's social structure and how it is disrupted by the arrival of a new prisoner. The camp is in the middle of the jungle. Here there are no visitors, especially no females. This environment increases the conflict between the men.
This intense film is well worth watching - several times. For the Bowie fans there is the interest of seeing him in a straight role, one which even requires him to sing wildly off key.