MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE

Available formats

Digibeta

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Cast

David Bowie
Tom Conti
Ryûichi Sakamoto

Director

Nagisa Ôshima

Producer

Terry Glinwood, Masato Hara, Geoffrey Nethercott, Eiko Oshima, Jeremy Thomas

Genres

Film synopsis

This powerful prisoner-of-war drama features a stunning cast – including David Bowie in one of his greatest roles – and is the first English-language film by acclaimed Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses). Set in Java at a Japanese POW camp in 1942, a war of wills – and unspoken erotic attraction – unfolds between a rebellious prisoner, David Bowie, and camp commandant Ryuichi Sakomoto, who is impressed by Bowie’s defiance; while bilingual prisoner Tom Conti (Mr. Lawrence) engages in a more adversarial relationship with sadistic sergeant Takeshi Kitano (Hana Bi), who finally offers Lawrence a sinister ‘Christmas’ present. Fine performances by Conti, Kitano (his first dramatic role), Sakamoto (his acting debut, he also contributed the memorable score) and Bowie, combined with stunning cinematography and brilliant direction by one of Japan’s finest filmmakers, make this a memorable and compelling war drama.

Running time

118 Minutes

Year of production

1983

Classification

Moderate themes and violence