About The Human Condition

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Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. Originally filmed and released in three parts, the nine-and-a-half-hour The Human Condition, adapted from Junpei Gomikawa’s novel, tells of the journey of the well-intentioned, yet naïve, Kaji from labor camp supervisor to Imperial Army soldier to Soviet prisoner of war. Constantly trying to rise above a corrupt system, Kaji finds his morals an impediment rather than an advantage. A raw indictment of its nation’s wartime mentality, as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is cinema at its best. This screening includes all three parts of the epic film, No Greater Love (part I, 1959), Road to Eternity (part II, 1959), and A Soldier’s Prayer (part III, 1961). In Japanese, Mandarin, and Russian with English subtitles.

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