DVD - 2017 | Japanese
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Inspired by actual events, this film explores the conflicting personalities of a dozen Japanese sailors stranded on a remote island in the Pacific during the waning days of World War II. For a time, they maintain their military discipline, but when they discover a young woman living on the island, the paradisal island becomes a nest of jealousy, violence, and desire. New 2K restoration of the uncensored 1958 version (Sternberg's preferred cut of the film), with restored audio.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kino Classics, [2017]
ISBN: 9786316844538
Branch Call Number: DVD ANATAHAN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (91 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
4 3/4 in.,stamping
video file,region 1
DVD video


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Dec 19, 2018

Located 60 km northwest of Farallon de Medinilla and 120 km north of Saipan, Anatahan is an island in the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and has one of the most active volcanoes of the archipelago.
Formerly inhabited, the island currently does not have any population due to the always-present danger of volcanic eruptions.
During World War I, Anatahan came under the control of the Empire of Japan.
In June 1944, 30 survivors of at least three Japanese shipwrecks reached Anatahan.
After the surrender of Japan in World War II, the Americans evacuated two Japanese and 45 natives from the island, but the Japanese castaways refused to believe that the war had ended, and fled into the interior of the island as Japanese holdouts.
In 1950, Kazuko Higa---the only woman left on the island---lived with a harem of five men.
After eleven of the holdouts died under uncertain circumstances, however, the remainder surrendered in June 1951.
One of the survivors, Michiro Maruyama, published a book titled as "Anatahan Island of the Unfortunates".
In 1953, Josef von Sternberg made this film based on the story by Michiro Maruyama.
It appears like an entertainment piece or fascinating renditions of the Anatahan events, rather than a forensic recreation of a wartime disaster.
Sternberg’s naration sounds quite monotonous, and the cast’s acting seems amateurish.

Jul 26, 2017

Quite a beautiful restoration. What an incredible twist of fate that threw these folks together into a really impossible circumstance. An interesting post-war American/Japanese collaboration produced this truly beautiful and haunting ode to human frailties. The Uncut version is a must for one to appreciate the forces that acted upon this sad lot of deluded soldiers.


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