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Tokyo Saiban Details


One of the major documentaries on a specific chapter in modern Japanese history, this look at the trial of Japanese militarists accused of war crimes is excellently handled by director Masaki Kobayashi. Kobayashi and his assistants had to plow through 30,000 reels from the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal which took place between May, 1946 and November, 1948. It took two days to read the charges against the 100 alleged war criminals in the docket (only 28 top officials are actually in the courtroom, which was limited in space), and the final judgment took one week to read. Before the proceedings of the trial itself are highlighted, there is a review of Japanese-Asian history leading up to World War II. Later on, a caveat noting that since this trial -- conducted by Western, Caucasian judges and with some overtones of racial bias -- many heinous events have transpired, including the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the Vietnam War with all its loss of life, and the nuclear arms race. During the trial itself, both prisoners, prosecutors, defense attorneys (all American in this case), and judges display fits of ill temper, unbearable boredom, and just about all emotions ranging in-between. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi



Masaki Kobayashi
Masaya Araki
Masaki Kobayashi
Toru Takemitsu
Composer (Music Score)