Reviews of No Greater Love (1959) and related work
No Greater Love (1959)
The first in Kobayashi’s “Human Condition” trilogy, or more literally, “The Terms of Being a Mensch”. Pretentious, but Nakadai kicks ass and the treatment of the atrocities is good.
‣ Road to Eternity (1959)
The gender aspects are worse, despite the absence of the army of prostitutes. The lack of combat is very nice, but the barracks scenes, although human enough, are not as bold or creative as the abuse of Chinese prisoners in the first one.
‣ A Soldier’s Prayer (1961)
The gender aspects are somewhere in between. Pretty scenery and good final scenes, but little is added. Ichikawa’s Fires on the Plain (1959) does better with the motifs.