Ningen no jôken / The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer

TitleNingen no jôken / The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1961
AuthorsKobayashi, Masaki
Running Time3h 10min
Date Released01/28/1961
Publication LanguageJapanese, Mandarin, Russ

Part three of an anti-war trilogy based on the six-volume novel published from 1956 to 1958 by Junpei Gomikawa, A Soldier's Prayer follows Kaji and some comrades as they attempt to elude capture by Soviet forces and find the remnants of the Kwantung army in South Manchuria. Kaji, however, is increasingly sick of combat and decides to abandon any pretense of rejoining the army. Instead, he leads fellow soldiers and a growing number of civilian refugees as they attempt to flee the warzone and return to their homes. Captured by the Red Army, he finds himself a prisoner of war, the exact opposite position he held in the first episode as labor camp chief. Kaji is forced to work for the Soviets, who do not seem to hold to the Communist ideals in which Kaji himself had put his faith. The trilogy ends with Kaji escaping the camp in hopes of reuniting with his wife, but eventually succumbing to the cold and dying in a vast winter wasteland covered in snow. The film is prequeled by No Greater Love (1959) and Road to Eternity (1961).

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