. . . on Tuesday, July 14 for Shinya Tsukamoto’s grisly, gripping masterpiece, Fires on the Plain, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker- star. In this 70th anniversary year of WWII’s end, fiercely independent, iconoclastic filmmaker Tsukamoto has refused to buckle to the white-washers of history. His provocative new adaptation of Shohei Ooka’s 1951 novel Nobi only slightly exceeds Kon Ichikawa’s 1959 film in its brutality and hell-on-earth savagery. Both draw directly from the horrific source material — but Tsukamoto’s is a perfect reinterpretation for our time; an intensely visceral reminder of the utter obscenity of war: Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. This is absolutely essential viewing, not only for those too young to remember Ichikawa’s film, but for everyone who believes that Japan can best honor its Pacific War veterans by refusing to turn away from the truth of their experiences. (Japan, 2014; 87 minutes; Japanese/ Filipino with English subtitles)

— Karen Severns