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Rated R · 124 minutes

Drama, War

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence was the first English-language project of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (Death by Hanging, In the Realm of the Senses). In tune with his previous filmic essays on racism and brutality, Merry Christmas concentrates on a war of wills between rebellious POW David Bowie and camp commandant Ryuichi Sakomoto. Assuming that his other prisoners' unwillingness to protest their cruel treatment is a sign of weakness, Sakomoto is most impressed by Bowie's enigmatic defiance. While Bowie and Sakomoto seem to be operating on a high spiritual and intellectual plane, bilingual prisoner Tom Conti (the Mr. Lawrence of the title) engages in a more standard adversarial relationship with sadistic sergeant Takeshi Kitano.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Director: Nagisa Oshima
Writer: Paul Mayersberg and Nagisa Oshima
Cast: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning, James Malcolm, Chris Broun and Yuya Uchida

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