PHILOSOPHY OF A KNIFE
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Philosophy of a Knife us the story of World War II group Unit 731 through newsreel archival footage, recollections of one of the key figures in the Khabarosk war crimes trials (Anatoliy Protasov) and the dramatic interpretation of actual events which occurred, seen through the eyes of a nurse.
Is it good movie?
POAK is a little strange- it's not exactly a documentary. Well, it is a documentary, with a fair amount of real footage, composed from archive stuff. It isn't exactly a silly war movie with a love story plot, but more of a gorefest that shows off genuine recreations of the horrors of war.
As I mentioned before, there isn't a lot of story here. There's a fair amount of information that is conveyed through the old soldier's explanations. His character is real, his struggles actually happened, and this adds a very human element to an otherwise cold and brutal film. This isn't to say that the movie isn't brutal though, because it is.
A lot of what this film does will rock you to your core. There are countless murders and executions, of people who you may consider to be innocent and others who you may think are guilty. For me, this wasn't a 'Yeah, kill him' type of movie, but a heart sinking movie that just makes you lose faith in humanity. The film isn't made on an anti-Japanese stand either; it just sets out to tell the truth.
Ultimately this one will have an impact on you if you stick it out through the whole thing. That was the difficult thing for me, after an hour or so I didn't want to watch much more. I felt the movie was a bummer and sometimes the effects didn't do proper justice. The movie is undoubtedly ambitious and it is well done, I just don't understand why it had to be so long.
Video / Audio
Ultimately, this one is perfect for war/history buffs and really patient gorehounds. The subject matter is brutal and intense and quite interesting. I recommend it, but only for specific audiences.