I went to see the film “A Man Called Pirate”, which was created by the film director Takashi Yamazaki and the leading actor Junichi Okada together again.
They created another film “The Eternal Zero” three years ago, which was a great hit.
The opening scene reminded me of the one of “The Eternal Zero”. However, this film’s model is existing person and not a kamikaze pilot, Sazo Idemitsu, who was the founder of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. An impressive scene of harsh dredging the Imperial Japanese Navy’s oil tanks in the original novel, which won the Literary Award by Bookstores in 2013, was fully depicted in the film as well.
After World War II, Japan was suffering from extreme shortage of oil.
Although oil remained in the bottom of the Navy’s oil tanks, it was a very little in sludge.
It’s impossible to use pumps or machines. So the employees have to go down into the bottom 10 meters deep with strong smell and noxious fume. Due to the gas, they could work for only ten minutes in relays.
In the novel, an employee was surprised to see Tetsuzo(Sazo’s role name) who took such
an assignment :
“Even the daredevil Navy didn’t try to do that, but he is going to try without expecting anything in return. Now Japanese people just think about only themselves but he is different. What a man!”
I think that such Japanese people’s willingness to work hard at any task has created today’s Japan. Tetzuzo shouted “Oil is blood of a country!”, and the words made me think if Japan would not be able to import oil again.
By the way, the re-enacted scene of “Nissho-maru(oil tanker) Incident” is the climax scene of the film. The director Yamazaki used amazing VFX which was his favorite, and the scene which the Nissho-maru faced the British Royal Navy’s destroyer was as if I could sense the tension of the crews over time.
The running time is 2.5 hours but I didn’t feel that long and I felt like I also lived the life of Sazo, who was endeared by the employees.
Throughout the film, I felt tears running down my face to see the people worked very hard. (H.S)