Fought over a vast area of land and sea, the Pacific theatre of World War II pitted Allied forces against Japan, and saw the devastating invasion of Southeast Asia, eventually leading to the end of the war with Japan’s defeat and surrender in 1945. In remembrance of the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, the Asian Film Archive presents a programme of three classic films that take a wider look at the Pacific War through the varied perspectives of filmmakers from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.
The film lineup opens with an epic retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbour, continuing with a depiction of the hardships of British and Australian prisoners-of-war in Malaya, before concluding with a widely-lauded historical epic about the Thai-Burma Death Railway. Together these films offer nuance and criticality to the attitudes towards war. In the face of trauma and destruction, these narratives express the tenacity, camaraderie and kinship of those who lived through this dark chapter of the human experience.
The films in the programme are:
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970, dir. Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda, USA and Japan)
A Town Like Alice (1956, dir. Jack Lee, UK and Australia)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, dir. David Lean, UK)
This programme is curated by the Asian Film Archive in partnership with the National Library Board in support of the programme “Defending the Little Red Dot”
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