Tuesday, 22 April 2008


And ,according to John Stewart , a prisoner who worked as an interpreter for the Japanese and as a technical advisor to David Lean, the total horrible reality of it all was not shown in the film.Stewart had personally witnessed beatings administered on prisoners by Japanese guards ,and had seen friends and colleagues die of dreadful diseases. By 1957, the Japanese were attempting to join the civilized community of nations again, and there were pressing political reasons why they should not be portrayed as vicious savages.Stewart accuses Lean of pulling his punches in this respect ,of softpedalling the brutality .Lean’s film is ‘fiction’,says Stewart.It is all very well to say this, but Lean was trying to make a film that would entertain people.The truth in war is ,sometimes ,too hard to bear.Stephen Spielberg admitted doing the same when making ‘Schindler’s List’ , portraying the Nazi death camps. There are limits to what you can show on a cinema screen ,and film directors are bound by them.

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