The Tokyo trial had more or less the same structure as the Neurenberg trial. After World War II, an international court tried the Japanese suspects of war crimes. These people, twenty-eight in number, had formerly been active in the military top and at high government posts. They were also tried for crimes committed against world peace and humanity. Accusations of this kind were first brought against suspects during the Neurenberg trial. Eleven nations, among which Holland, accused Japan of being the aggressor. The trial followed the legal system of Great Britain and the U.S. The latter country added twenty-five lawyers to the Japanese defence. The trial lasted for two and a half years: from 3 May 1946 until 12 November 1948. Four hundred witnesses were summoned and four thousand exhibits were submitted. The Tokyo trial revealed many horrible facts. All the defendants were found guilty, except for three who either died during the trial or were acquitted. Seven convicts were sentenced to death and were hanged.
In the Pentagon, thirty thousand filmreels with documentary war-material have been put in closed archives. In 1978, the director of this film, Kobayashi Masaki, selected 930 reels with a total of 170 hours of film relating to the Tokyo trial. Five years later, his film-crew had produced a piercing evaluation of this historical event. The Tokyo Trial is a film that exactly lays down the essence of the war-phenomenon. The documentary makes clear how the war-situation can completely change a life, a character. —International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹, Kobayashi Masaaki, February 14, 1916–October 4, 1996) was a Japanese director.
Among his films is Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from the book by Lafcadio Hearn, each of which has a surprise ending.
Kobayashi also directed The Human Condition, a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over 9 hours. Other notable films include Harakiri (1962) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). Harakiri won him an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, solidifying his place in the history of cinema.
He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) but instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.
Kobayashi, himself a pacifist, was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but refused to fight and refused promotion to a rank higher than private. —Wikipedia
Problematic reduction of the hundreds of hours of footage from the IMTFE, not least due to the absence of subtitles (although the dvd I viewed contains english narration, in addition to the japanese track, lengthy excerpts from the original footage is not translated). Kobayashi, responsible for one of the most beautiful works of art in all of cinema - 1964's "Kwaidan" - crafted a narrative that arguably diminishes the extent of Japanese atrocities and, thus, the culpability of those men on trial.