‘Sometime the Hating Has to Stop’: Liberation and Reconciliation in The Railway Man (Teplitzky, 2013)
The Railway Man (Teplitzky, 2013) recreates Eric Lomax’ experience as a Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW) who, despite being tortured, was later reconciled with his interrogator, Takashi Nagase, in 1993. Though this biopic foregrounds the suffering of FEPOWs it also represents a route towards their psychological ‘liberation’. Within a context characterized by continued debates regarding the absence of a formal Japanese apology for their treatment of FEPOWs, The Railway Man suggests recuperation from wartime trauma and Anglo-Japanese reconciliation is possible when figures from both nations engage in shared remembrance. Cinematic flashbacks recreate the horrors of internment from Lomax’ perspective and also construct Japanese remembrance of the Second World War: Nagase is provided with a subjective flashback which imagines a wider Japanese remembrance of their wartime past. Thus The Railway Man asserts that recognition of the Far Eastern conflict as a shared trauma provides a route to Anglo-Japanese reconciliation.
|biopic; adaptation; The Railway Man; trauma; memoir; war
|Journal of War and Culture Studies
|13 (3), p. 298–317.
|Routledge - Taylor and Francis
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
|08 Aug 2019
|Publication process dates
|04 Aug 2022
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