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Eastwood's Iwo JimaCritical Engagements with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima$
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Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165655

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165655.001.0001

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East of Eastwood

East of Eastwood

Iwo Jima and the Japanese Context

(p.194) East of Eastwood
Eastwood's Iwo Jima

Lars-Martin Sørensen

Columbia University Press

This chapter places Clint Eastwood’s 2006 film Letters from Iwo Jima in a Japanese context. In particular, it examines how the Japanese perspective influenced Eastwood’s choices in the making of the movie and how Letters from Iwo Jima was received in Japan. It considers how the film’s Japanese background, the controversies about the past, and current nationalistic public debates create grounds for caution. For instance, the gore and gruesome detail of war is downplayed to meet the preferences from audiences on both sides. However, catering to a Japanese audience does not mean adjusting in one direction, since there is no such thing as one Japanese perspective. The chapter discusses Eastwood’s movies in the light of four kinds of Japanese nationalism: peace nationalism, revisionist nationalism, “petit nationalism,” and “healthy nationalism”.

Keywords:   war film, Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima, Japan, nationalism, peace nationalism, revisionist nationalism, petit nationalism, healthy nationalism, war

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