- 1 hr 31 min
Anatahan is a 1953 war drama film directed by legendary filmmaker, Josef von Sternberg. The movie tells the story of a group of Japanese soldiers who find themselves stranded on a remote island in the Pacific during World War II. Among them is a lone woman, who becomes the object of desire for the men, leading to jealousy, rivalry, and ultimately, tragedy.
The movie opens with newsreel footage of the war in the Pacific, before switching to a fictionalized recreation of events. A group of Japanese soldiers are stranded on an island after their ship is destroyed by an American plane. They manage to survive by living off the land, but soon tensions arise as the men begin to compete for the attention of a young woman, Keiko. The woman, who is the only female on the island, was brought there by a Chinese merchant ship and has a mysterious past.
The men engage in a power struggle, as they vie for Keiko's affections. The group's leader, Saito, takes a particular interest in her, but is challenged by other men, including the charismatic Kusakabe and the dark and brooding Toshiro. The men begin to turn on each other, as jealousy and suspicion grow. Some of the soldiers question Keiko's loyalty, further fueling the tensions.
As time goes on, the men become increasingly isolated and out of touch with the outside world. They suffer from hunger and disease, leading to further friction. The men's sense of reality begins to blur, as they become more and more obsessed with Keiko. They start to see her as a symbol of hope, salvation, and sexuality.
The movie is shot in black and white and features surreal, dreamlike sequences. The use of voice-over narration, where one of the soldiers speaks directly to the audience, adds an extra layer of intrigue and complexity to the story. The film's score, which combines traditional Japanese music with Western classical music, adds to the ominous and haunting atmosphere.
Anatahan is a haunting and atmospheric film that explores themes of desire, isolation, and the destructive nature of human obsession. The movie's stark black and white photography, combined with its surreal visual style and haunting soundtrack, create a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience. Josef von Sternberg's direction is precise and masterful, utilizing imagery to convey complex emotions and psychological states.
The movie has been cited as a major influence on filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Its themes of isolation, human nature, and obsession continue to resonate with audiences today.
In conclusion, Anatahan is a timeless masterpiece that showcases the power of cinema to explore themes of the human condition. The film's haunting imagery, unforgettable score, and powerful performances create a hypnotic and unforgettable viewing experience that is sure to stay with viewers long after the credits have rolled.
Anatahan is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.