VOX Movie Night: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) by Nagisa Ôshima

“You are the victim of men who think they are right… Just as one day you and captain Yanoi believed absolutely that you were right. And the truth is of course that nobody is right.”

Greetings, and Christmas/holiday well-wishes to all VOX’ers! To get in the spirit of the season, this month VOX will be screening the cult classic Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, directed by Japanese new-wave cinema master Nagisa Oshima. This hidden gem has an all star cast including several musicians-turned-actors: David Bowie stars alongside the late, great Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also fashioned an enduring soundtrack for the film, including a criminally catchy theme) in one of his few acting performances. Other co-stars include Tom Conti, and Japanese director Takeshi Kitano in a debut movie acting role. The film is based on the experiences of writer Sir Laurens van der Post, a WWII veteran who was taken as a POW by the Japanese military. To paraphrase the war statistics from History on the Net, for every three POWs that were under the aggressive attention of the Japanese military, one POW would die.

During World War II, British soldier Jack Celliers (David Bowie) is captured by Japanese forces and held in a prison camp by the honour-bound Capt. Yanoi (Ryuichi Sakamoto). Yanoi and the gruff Sgt. Hara (Takeshi) become intrigued with Celliers’ open defiance in the face of their staunchly old-world ideas about cowardice and shame. Meanwhile, a translator, Lt. Col. John Lawrence (Tom Conti), attempts to find common ground between British and Japanese beliefs. This beautifully shot film explores the clash of cultures and ideologies, and our capacity to dehumanise with those we are told are our enemies. It also explores how the madness of fanaticism and militarism bleeds into every aspect of life, and how these things interact with stereotypical masculinity.

Come join us on the 19th of December, where we will be celebrating the season to be jolly in perhaps a more contemplative fashion than usual. After the film there will be an optional discussion where you can share your insights/experience with your fellow viewers!
Where: Orange Room, TU library.
When: Tuesday, 19th December.
Price: FREE
Catering will be provided!*
*important announcement! Although we are known for offering pizza at our monthly movie extravaganzas, the truth is that this was only possible due to a surplus in budget left over from the pandemic years. We are thus unable to keep offering the usual pizza anymore at our big monthly movie screenings! But do not fret, we will do out best to provide alternatives that are more sustainable for our budget.


This event is organized by VOX Delft in collaboration with SG.

Visit the location's website here.