World soundtrack awards
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Archived: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

director: Nagisa Ôshima

composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto
With: David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tom Conti, a.o.

duration: 123 minutes

Film Fest Gent - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

In 1942, in Java, the British Major Jack 'Strafer' Celliers arrives in the Japanese POW camp and is submitted to a Japanese court to examine his surrender. He explains that the Japanese soldiers would murder the local villagers and he decided to surrender to avoid the massacre. The camp commander Captain Yonoi feels a sort of fascination for Jack and sends him to the infirmary to be treated. The liaison of the prisoners with Yonoi and Sergeant Gengo Hara, Colonel John Lawrence, has lived in Japan for many years and can understand both cultures and their leader is Captain Hicksley. When the rebel Jack leaves the infirmary, he challenges Yonoi, who is a man that follows the principles of honor and discipline. Yonoi believes that Jack is possessed by demons and their confrontation will lead the British to a tragic end.

"Has often been described as a thinking man's 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. This is a spectacular, fascinating film." (The New York Times) "The final episode is perhaps the most movingly melodramatic in all Ôshima's work." (Film Comment)


director: Nagisa Ôshima
composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto
producer: Jeremy Thomas
screenplay: Nagisa Ôshima, Paul Mayersberg based on the novel by Laurens van der Post
Editor: Tomoyo Oshima
Cinematography: Tôichirô Narushima
sound: Akira Honma

production company: Palace Pictures

More info

dialogue: English, Japanese
subtitles: Dutch subt.
Country: United Kingdom - Japan - New Zealand
year: 1983


NAGISA ÔSHIMA (1932-2013): Tomorrow's Sun (1959, short), A Town of Love and Hope (1959), Naked Youth (1960), The Sun's Burial (1960), Night and Fog in Japan (1960), The Catch (1961), Shiro Amakusa, the Christian Rebel (1962), Pleasures of the Flesh (1965), Diary of Yunbogi (1965, short), Violence at Noon (1966), Band of Ninja (1967), Sing a Song of Sex (1967), Japanes Summer: Double Suicide (1967), Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968), Death by Hanging (1968), Boy (1969),… Show more

Technical Specs

sound: Dolby Digital SRD
format: DCP
frame: 1:1,85

Other festival films by director Nagisa Ôshima

2016:Death by Hanging
2016:L'Empire des sens
2016:The Ceremony
1997:L'Empire des sens
1979:Empire of Passion
1974:The Ceremony


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