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"Historical accuracy? My father was a Japanese prisoner of war working on the railway. He watched this film avidly every time it came on TV. He said that it conveyed well, "for a film", the actuality of being a prisoner. The brutality of course, but also the tension between the longing for the satisfaction of building the railway well and the imperative to do it badly. He liked the ending too...even if that didn't quite happen."

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