Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself
This book examines two films directed by Clint Eastwood, both in 2006: Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. The two films are about the battle over Iwo Jima in 1945 during World War II. Eastwood touches us so deeply with his compassionate portrayal of soldiers, be they American or Japanese. Flags of Our Fathers traces the history of the men in arguably the most famous photograph in history, Joe Rosenthal’s “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” which in the West stands for victory, unity, and democracy. Letters from Iwo Jima traces the almost forgotten history of the ingenious defense of Iwo Jima by General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, who turned a battle expected to last five days into the bloodiest battle of World War II, lasting thirty-six days. Wanting to deconstruct the “rainbow of feeling and thought” in Rosenthal’s photograph, Eastwood looks for the tragedy of the battle of Iwo Jima, which claimed 6,821 American lives and 19,217 casualties, the highest in World War II.
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