Ningen no Jôken
1961 / 190m - Japan
War, Drama
The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer poster


December 03, 2022


Quite a bit better than the first two films. It's been a while since I watched those, so it's not easy to compare them directly, but I was a lot more invested in this third part. The cinematography was way more impressive, the drama worked a lot better and there seemed to be a stronger focus on the atmosphere.

Kaji, his comrades, and a group of regular people try to keep themselves out of the hands of the Soviets. Kaji is tired of fighting the war and tries to lead everybody to safety, but when they get lost in a forest they start to fight amongst themselves. They eventually find their way out, but wherever they go, war follows them.

The cinematography is really the highlight here, with some very impressive vistas and lovely black-and-white contrasts. The drama is decent but combined with the title of the film things do get a bit pompous toward the ending. At least, it was a lot easier to get through, even though the film is more than three hours long. Best of the bunch.