The Human Condition I

The Human Condition I

“No Greater Love”
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi • 1959 • Japan

Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. Originally filmed and released in three parts, the nine-and-a-half-hour THE HUMAN CONDITION (NINGEN NO JOKEN), adapted from Junpei Gomikawa’s six-volume novel, tells of the journey of the well-intentioned yet naive Kaji (handsome Japanese superstar Tatsuya Nakadai) from labor camp supervisor to Imperial Army soldier to Soviet POW. Constantly trying to rise above a corrupt system, Kaji time and again finds his morals an impediment rather than an advantage. A raw indictment of its nation’s wartime mentality as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is novelistic cinema at its best.

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The Human Condition I
  • The Human Condition I

    “No Greater Love”
    Directed by Masaki Kobayashi • 1959 • Japan

    Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. Originally filmed and released in three parts, the nine-and-a-half-hour THE HUMAN CONDITION (NINGEN NO JOKEN), adapted from Junpe...

Extras

  • Masaki Kobayashi on THE HUMAN CONDITION

    In this 1993 video interview, filmed for the Directors Guild of Japan at Tokyo’s Haiyuza Theatre, director Masaki Kobayashi talks to fellow filmmaker and longtime Kobayashi admirer Masahiro Shinoda (DOUBLE SUICIDE) about THE HUMAN CONDITION.

  • Tatsuya Nakadai on THE HUMAN CONDITION

    In this new video interview with Tatsuya Nakadai, conducted in 2009, the screen legend discusses his landmark role as Kaji in THE HUMAN CONDITION.

  • Masahiro Shinoda on THE HUMAN CONDITION

    In this video appreciation, created in 2009, we present filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda’s observations on THE HUMAN CONDITION and director Masaki Kobayashi.