Japan's War in Colour
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178 of 181 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2006
I highly recommend this DVD about Japan in the Second World War. The film does a great job in both the footage and narrative in exploring the Japanese viewpoint of the war. What is also very fascinating is the color footage in the film. Most of the footage shown about the war in the Pacific is black and white, or colorized. This documentary film is actual color footage. Not restored black and white into color: But the real deal here. The film does an excellent job in showing Japan's experience in the war.

Moreover, the narration is very, very good. You also have first-person accounts of the events of the war: which I have also found to be a plus in any documentary. Primary evidence, be it paper documents or the men who witnessed these historic events give a much more vivid picture when discussing historic events. The pictures in the film are incredible. Almost 95% is in color. And I might add, this footage has never been seen before.

There is also bonus material included in the DVD called "The Last Bomb" which detail the planning and massive attacks of the then Army Air Force on the city of Tokyo. The film shows air combat footage of the Air Force in color. I have seen many of these types of films while I served in the U.S Air Force many years ago, however, this footage compliments the entire rest of the documentary film. There is also footage of the Pacific Campaign dealing with the varoius battles, such as Iwo Jima. Plus, there is footage of post-war Japan, which many documentaries do not focus on, when discussing the war. The DVD is highly recommended.
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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2006
If there ever was one film that effectively captures and encapsulates Japan's wartime experience, this DVD is it--hands down.

Narration and editing is absolutely phenomenal. Combined with first-person account of events amplifying the footage, this film relentlessly draws the viewer in.

And, oh, what pictures! Virtually 95% of color footage is never before seen, and even startled to see what I always believed to be B/W playing out in color. These are genuine color footages and NOT colorized B/W stock.

Bonus material includes a complete War Department Oscar nominated color documentary "The Last Bomb" that chronicles the planning and attack on the city of Tokyo by the U.S. Army Air Force. It contains incredible air combat gun camera footage--in color!

DVD also includes 3 selections of original color footage not used in the main program: Battle for the island of Iwo Jima, Hiroshima & Nagasaki after the atom bombs, and vivid street scenes of Japan during the postwar period.

A must-own DVD (the price is right, too).

WARNING: Contains uncensored/unsanitized film footage. Graphic scenes may not be suitable for some. Viewer discretion is advised.
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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2008
The producers of this documentary (and others in the series) have obviously spent a great deal of time and effort in tracking down the remarkable color footage and restoring it. However, they've also made the decision to convert the original 4:3 images to 16:9 -- obviously to satisfy those who've already bought their widescreen TVs. This cropping of about a third of the image from the top and bottom of the frame results in the frequently painful butchery of the image. Since the whole raison d'etre of the series is to present these rare images (as documentaries, the programs are efficient but unremarkable surveys of their subjects), this mutilation seems inexplicable. The material itself is worth five stars, but the presentation drags down the rating.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2008
Overall, Japan's War In Colour is a rarity- and a must see for historians of war and war buffs alike. The scenes of color footage, especially that from American airplanes, is devastating- far better than not only contemporary war films, but anything Hollywood has put out since, and if one recalls the video game-like atmosphere surrounding the First Gulf War, it will surprise one to see how eerily similar scenes from half a century were, as we hear tailgunners lock in and obliterate their targets with great precision; sometimes even shooting fleeing Japanese civilians in fields or on beaches. But it is more than a mere filmic experience. It captures a human quality too often missing in war films, be they fictive or documentary. There is an ambience to this film which, because it is in color, heightens the sense of reality and immediacy of the ghostly images before you. Almost all of these people are likely long dead, yet, there they are, not in grainy black and white, but, as the old tv slogan went, in `living color.' Their living, then hollowed, expressions core into a viewer like only the naked image can.

Finally, this film also sets the record straight about the neglected `Pacific War'- that it was even bloodier than the `European War,' accounting for close to 50 million of the 80 million people killed. Such truths are often not touched in documentaries where political sensitivities are heightened, and for that reason I doubt this DVD will be a big seller in Japan. Yet, for these and many other unenumerated reasons, I cannot recommend Japan's War In Colour highly enough. And, as a cherry (blossom?) on top, it once again proved my gut has never has never let me down. Nor will it let yours down. It is simply a masterful film, in both conception and presentation. Take that, Mr. Burns!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2007
This is excellent color film on the Japanese maximun war effort not only by the militarists but also by EVERY Japanese on the home islands...the Pacific future belonged to the Empire of Japan with it's 'co-prosperity sphere' from Hokkaido to the southern tip of Australia in the Pacific...it almost worked..[almost]...I was entralled with color film never released before, amazing and most interesting from Occidental eyes...take in the opening scene with a white out cascade of Japanese cherry blossoms falling like lil parachutes was most asthetic and peaceful to the soul and then the tramp of Japanese soldiers at war, certainly the eternal paradox that exists between America and Japan's "Code of Bushido" being unleased on a sleeping world at peace...Japan was a willing adversary, indeed....now, Japan is again a most beautiful country to visit and enjoy in peace, thank Providence...but from 1937 to unconditional surrender day [6Aug45] and the attrition of war that befalls Japan reduces her Empire dreams into a junk/yard...they misread what it is to war against America, but reviewing Japan after WW1 [then in the League of Nations] and its plan of conquest by armed force, this documentary will be 'required viewing' and in vivid technicolor no less...a most well done film/history with the stamp of the internalized/modern day Japanese Samurai turned loose...wonderful extra feature on the famous USAAF B-29s that burnt all of Japan to the ground before surrender day...better than any Hollywood war movie out of Tinseltown....excellent DVD by Cox and Morris [kudos]....SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2005
This is one of the first documentaries about World War II that I've seen that focused on the Japanese side of things. The film is too short and isn't very in depth about it's subject. For example, the "Rape of Nanking" is only mentioned briefly and doesn't even begin to describe anything that happens during this incident.

At about the 1:11 mark the Japanese have surrendered and the movie continues to describe what it was like after this for the Japanese. I'm glad they added this because most other documentaries probably wouldn't have even bothered.

I felt the movie relied too much on quotes about the war to tell it's story.

The film maker also seemed to love to brag in the movie about how their footage was the first time it was seen. Yeah right!

Definitely worth the $9 I paid for this movie.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
All old film was shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the director chopped off the top and bottom of the video to wedge it into 16:9 format. Thus, a noticeable chunk of the information has been thrown away in their drive to look "modern".
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
Based on the Product Description "It was assumed no color films existed in Japan..." you might think this was all Japanese film. You would be wrong. Very little was shot by the Japanese. I was disapointed.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2005
Opinions vary indeed, in contrast to the previous reviewer I consider this documentary is well achieved in accordance with its true purpose, which is not to talk about detailed chapters of history but to provide human, contextual and chronological ambience to old film reels. This is the main point to keep in mind, and none the less the total result is full of insight and detail through personal accounts of the period and the excellent analysis of the narrator.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
There are some interesting segments in this video, I happen to like to here both sides of history. Missing most of 1943-44, looks at Americans as the aggressor when talking about bombing campaign. No discussion of any length about japanese atrocities. interesting, but misses a lot, can see most of the videos on the history or military channel
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