Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 Japanese-language American war film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. In Letters From Iwo Jima, director Clint Eastwood returns to the same Pacific island that served as the backdrop for his war epic Flags of Our Fathers. That movie told the story of the American Marines who raised the flag that became an iconic symbol for the U.S. war effort. This one portrays the battle from the Japanese perspective – in Japanese.

The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan.

Lt. Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) knows he and his men have virtually no chance of survival, he uses his extraordinary military skills to hold off American troops as long as possible.

Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. However, he does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester amongst his staff.

Among them are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker; Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), an Olympic champion; and Shimizu (Ryô Kase), an idealistic soldier. As Kuribayashi and his men dig in for a battle they are not certain they can win – and most have been told they will not survive – their story is told both by watching their actions and through the letters they write home to their loved ones, letters that in many cases would not be delivered until long after they were dead.

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