Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky describes the challenging training of young boys in the Yokaren, a program feeding new pilots into the Army and Navy. By the time of the filming, the pressure of the war had led the government to shorten the training and expand the age range of the recruits. Yokaren was highly selective, and thus an object of great fascination and desire for boys and young men. In this Navy–sponsored film, Setsuko Hara plays the daughter of a family that often entertains recruits on their days off—a surrogate sister to many trainees. Her fragile younger brother aspires to join the program, but is rejected. With perseverance and much support from Hara and their mother, he surmounts his weaknesses and becomes a flier.
1943, 81 min., 35mm, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Kunio Watanabe. With Setsuko Hara, Minoru Takada, Yataro Kurokawa, Masaru Kodaka, Yuriko Hanabusa.
Print courtesy of National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
$12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase tickets for at least 3 different films and receive $2 off each ticket when purchased together! Special offer available only Japan Society Box Office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online.
Part of the 2015 Globus Film Series The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara.
Stories from the War
Marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, Japan Society presents the Society-wide series Stories from the War. Encompassing theater performances, film screenings, lectures, panels and educational opportunities for young people, programming from January to August explores history and considers challenging issues that the U.S. and Japan faced surrounding WWII through a contemporary lens.
- March 28, 2015
- 7:00 pm