名作『戦場のメリークリスマス』の助監督を務められたパルバース氏の講演 “From Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence to Star Sand－Is there such a thing as an anti-war film?” では、真の反戦映画は戦争の原因を理解する手助けとなるべきであり、戦争に勝者は存在せず避けなければならないことを説き明かしてくださいました。
Movies often masquerade as antiwar but what is a true “antiwar” movie? That was the question posed by author, translator, theatre director and filmmaker Roger Pulvers during a public lecture on November 10, 2022. Few people are better qualified to answer. Roger was assistant director on the movie Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (『戦場のメリークリスマス』), directed by Nagisa Oshima, and co-wrote the script for Best Wishes for Tomorrow (『明日への遺言』). In 2017, he directed a film, Star Sand (『STAR SAND－星砂物語－』) from his own novel, Hoshizuna Monogatari(『星砂物語』or Star Sand).
Roger said that while many people find the topic unpleasant, wars are part of human history and are in our DNA. “I wish it were not true but it is.” He said no media was more powerful than cinema for creating a narrative about World War II in America during his childhood and most movies were simplistic depictions of “good guys” and “bad guys.” Even today, most movies carry the same moral message: “we” are the good guys.
Real antiwar movies must help us understand the causes of war, not just blame or condemn one side, he said. And they must show the bitter aftermath. To illustrate his point, Roger showed clips from his favorite antiwar movies, including All Quiet on the Western Front (『西部戦線異状なし』) and The Burmese Harp (『ビルマの竪琴』). These classics can help people understand that war ultimately has no winners – and has to be avoided.