The Human Condition

The Human Condition

Synopsis

Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. Originally filmed and released in three parts, the nine-and-a-half-hour The Human Condition, adapted from Junpei Gomikawa’s six-volume novel, tells of the journey of the well-intentioned yet naive Kaji (handsome Japanese superstar Tatsuya Nakadai) from labor camp supervisor to Imperial Army soldier to Soviet POW. Constantly trying to rise above a corrupt system, Kaji time and again finds his morals an impediment rather than an advantage. A raw indictment of its nation’s wartime mentality as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is novelistic cinema at its best.

Technical Specs

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Year: 1959
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese | Mandarin
Duration: 574 min
Colour: B/W
Alternate Title: Ningen No J├┤ken