Watched this for the first time today. It's assured not to be the last time.
While watching, I was compelled; drawn in to the story - moreso than many films. The emotional impact it weaves, and thus has on the viewer is...something very special indeed. The brutality tears away at one's mind; keeping a constant reminder of how inhuman and cruel our race can be. But more than just the pain and suffering, there is the conflict of revenge and mercy. These physical & emotional battles bring the viewer closer to the feel of the actions, with more success than some war films.
The acting on everyone's part, is breathtaking - throughout. The whole -feel- of the film is extraordinary. A perfect cast, with a sad and harsh true story. There were moments where I had to cry. I saw these moments, and not only saw it from the POWs' POV, but, also, I reflected on -myself- and who I am. I compared the flaws and strengths and the characters with myself; as me, and as a human being. This is truly one of the better films in a war genre.
It is a real big shame that this film has not received the attention and recognition and acclaim it well deserves. I would very easily rank it up with the best war films made. The story of a small portion of our expansive history, yet containing just as meaningful, just as powerful, just as important a group of lives and series of events as any war as a whole.
A portion of our history; dwarfed in size, like it is said in the film, that of the single human being, who weighs but only a feather.