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Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence.

I first saw 戦場のメリークリスマス when I was a student and I knew nothing about Japan. I was very moved by the tragedy of conflict but also the possibility of humanity bridging the divisions. Of course, David Bowie, who died this year, was charismatic and vunerable at the same time. His opposite was Ryuichi Sakamoto, the famous composer. But, for me, even when I had no idea who he was, Beat Takeshi brilliantly portrayed a complicated and, in the cultural context of the time, understandable character. The movie is set in Burma and when I talked about this with my grandmother later, I discovered that her brother had been a prisoner on the same Burma railroad. After I married, I found out that my wife's grandmother had been an engineer/guard on the same railroad. I wonder if they ever met?
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