In a younger time of my life, I was obsessed with World War II movies, but my favorite was The Thin Red Line, a brilliant and psychological movie that takes place on the island of Guadacanal, one of the most important battles the Pacific Theatre.

One of the interesting things about the movie is that the Japanese dialogue was not translated and in my younger years I couldn’t understand it, including this tragic ending scene:

The translation and subtitles are excellent,1 and really change the scene a lot. Without understanding the Japanese, it seems like Pvt. Witt had no choice, but had he understood what they said, perhaps things would have been different.

It doesn’t take much for small misunderstandings to fester, and then grow into outright hostility. People aren’t particularly good at reading into others, and their minds naturally try to fill in the blanks with what they assume the other is thinking.

More often than not, that way lies danger.

1 Without the subtitles, I understand quite a bit more than I did years ago, but admittedly still not 100%. Always more to learn. 🤔

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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