in about 100 words or less
Japan 116m, B&W
Director: Kon Ichikawa; Cast: Rentarō Mikuni, Shôji Yasui, Jun Hamamura
The Burmese Harp is the story of a Japanese soldier who, in his sorrow, refuses to rejoin his company after failing a mission that would have saved the lives of many men. A heartfelt drama that explores the emotional impact of the war on its soldiers, The Burmese Harp skillfully interweaves the melody from an American Civil War song entitled: Dreaming of Home and Mother (1851) throughout the story. As ode to the film’s central theme, the song’s sentiment expresses the essence of Ichikawa’s anti-war message, that the war irrevocably changes the world, and that one can never truly go home after experiencing it (Klaus Ming February 2015).