What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Emperor is a historical drama about American generals attempting to establish order in post-WWII Japan, as well as deciding whether or not to arrest and try Emperor Hirohito for war crimes. The filmmakers have padded the story with a fictional romance (which includes some kissing), but the movie could inspire students and families to do further research. Violence isn't especially frequent/graphic, but there are a couple of suicides (with blood), fighting, and images of a bombed-out Japan after the war. There's also some language, mostly coming from General MacArthur, including one use of "f--k." Characters smoke cigarettes (and one smokes a corncob pipe) throughout, which is accurate for the era the movie takes place in. The main character drinks beer, sake, and whisky and sometimes gets drunk, with no apparent repercussions.
- Families can talk about Emperor's violence. What parts were the most upsetting/disturbing? Why do you think so many of the Japanese characters commit or threaten suicide?
- Why does Fellers drink and smoke so much? Is it related to the high stress of his job? Did people know in 1945 what they know now about cigarettes?
- Why did Fellers choose not to arrest Hirohito? Did he make the right decision?
- Why would the filmmakers add a romantic subplot to this story? What happens when fact and fiction are mixed?