Letters from Iwo Jima (硫黄島からの手紙, Iōjima Kara no Tegami?) is a 2006 American War film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, and starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. The film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers and is a companion piece to Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, which depicts the same battle from the American viewpoint; the two films were shot back to back. Letters from Iwo Jima is almost entirely in Japanese, but was produced by American companies Warner Bros. Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Malpaso Productions, and Amblin Entertainment. After the box office failure of Flags of Our Fathers, DreamWorks sold the United States distribution rights to Warner Bros., who had the international rights.
Letters from Iwo Jima was released in Japan on December 9, 2006 and received a limited release in the United States on December 20, 2006 in order to be eligible for consideration for the 79th Academy Awards. It was subsequently released in more areas of the U.S. on January 12, 2007, and was released in most states on January 19. An English-dubbed version of the film premiered on April 7, 2008. Upon release, the film garnered considerable acclaim and did much better at the box office than its companion.
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“Do not write me studied letters but ramble as you please.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)