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Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

2h 3m Drama, War 1983

Filmed in New Zealand and the Cook Islands, this powerful prisoner-of-war drama stars David Bowie in one of his best roles, and was the first English language film by the acclaimed Japanese director, Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses).

Set in Java at a Japanese POW camp in 1942, a war of wills and unspoken erotic attraction unfolds between a rebellious prisoner and camp commandant (Ryuichi Sakomoto, who also wrote the iconic score) who is impressed by Bowie’s defiance, while bilingual prisoner, Mr. Lawrence (Tom Conti) engages in a more adversarial relationship with sadistic sergeant, Hana Bi (Takeshi Kitano), who finally offers Lawrence a sinister ‘Christmas’ present.


Nagisa Oshima




United Kingdom, Japan

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