Show of the week
Hell is not too strong a word. This valuable documentary says World War II in the Pacific theater was a conflict in which both sides "cast off civilized taboos," and it backs up the statement with graphic images and disturbing memories of savagery and suffering. We hear about rape and mutilation by Japanese troops, but we also see Allied soldiers casually pumping bullets into enemies who lie wounded if not already dead.
Though there are deficiencies in this two-hour account—no mention of Japanese-Americans who fought for the U.S., not enough about the devastating effect of the atomic bomb—it serves as a useful, condensed history for younger viewers who want more facts than Hollywood's Pearl Harbor provided. More important, it reminds us that "the horror of war"—even of the Good War—is not an empty cliché but a hard, cruel fact.
Bottom Line: Tough duty but recommended