Eastwood says new Iwo Jima films a tribute to both sides

As a child, Clint Eastwood watched his share of war movies. Later on, he’d star in them. But now, as he puts the finishing touches on a pair of films about the bloody Second World War battle for Iwo Jima, he says he has a changed perspective.

As a child, Clint Eastwood watched his share of war movies. Later on, he’d star in them. But now, as he puts the finishing touches on a pair of films about the bloody Second World War battle for Iwo Jima, he says he has a changed perspective.

“It was always one-sided. There were good guys on one side,” he said today. “Life isn’t like that.”

To get in both sides of the Iwo Jima story, Eastwood has spent the past year working on two films.

The first, Flags of Our Fathers, follows the story of the US troops famously photographed raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The second, in Japanese and with a predominantly Japanese cast, focuses on the general who lost the battle, and the young Japanese soldiers who died following his orders.

“I think those soldiers deserve a certain amount of respect,” the Oscar-winning director said in his first news conference ever in Japan.

Flags of Our Fathers, based on the best-selling book by James Bradley, is due for release in October. Red Sun, Black Sand, starring Ken Watanabe, comes out in December.

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