This grim film by director Yasuzo Masumura takes place in Japanese field hospitals during the 1939 invasion of China.
Nurse Sakura Nishi (Ayako Wakao) is sent to a front line hospital and works under army surgeon Dr Okabe (Shinsuke Ashida) who performs unending amputations. These are a gruesome ritual carried out without anaesthetic mainly viewed with the bound patients (victims!) being held down by Nishi as we listen to their agonised screams above the crisp sawing sounds of the amputations.
But Nurse Nishi has a kind of curse on her, everyone she likes or helps dies, and she falls helplessly in love with Dr Okabe who is impotent from his heroine addiction.
Although undoubtedly an important and engrossing film I was always conscious of the appalling atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese invaders on the Chinese, and this came between me and sympathy and involvement in the hardship of the soldiers and the personal tragedy of Nishi and Okabe.