Written by: Greigh Johanson

War isn't a subject that has interested me over the years. But when it turned out that one of my favorite directors Andrey Iskanov had made a drama documentary about World War II, there were absolutely no barriers from attaching my eyes on this creation. Philosophy of a Knife is a chocking drama-documentary about the forgotten Unit no. 731.

It took about four years to complete this four and a half hour long documentary. We may thanks the survivor Anatolij Protasov for most of the information this documentary offers. He tells us the whole story from his own perspective on what really happened during this years; it was one of the most gruesome acts done by humans in the history of mankind.

From the detailed angles we will see when parts of the Japanese army prisoners civilian casualties and experiment with their bodies. Unit No. 731 was just one of the many bunkers that existed during those years. Sources say it was about two thousand pieces (only from this unit) that were victims. During these years, they produced (from a chemical perspective) diseases that wouldn't have existed today if it weren't because of these experiments.

Japanese scientists performed tests on prisoners with plague, cholera, smallpox, botulism and other diseases. This research has led to the development of kronutglesa bacillus and bombs-fleas that were used to spread the bubonic plague. Some of the bombs were designed with ceramic shells, an idea proposed by Ishii in 1938. Japanese soldiers used these bombs to launch biological attacks, infecting agriculture, reservoirs, wells and other areas with anthrax, plague-carrying fleas, typhoid, dysentery, cholera and other deadly pathogens. During biological bomb experiments, scientists where dressed in protective suits when they investigate the dying victims. They also assigned poisoned food and candies to the unsuspecting victims and children, and the results were reviewed.

The prisoners were subjected to painful experiments such as being hung upside down to see how long it would take for them to choke to death. Air was injected into their arteries to determine the time until the onset of embolism, but also horse urine injected into their kidneys. Other events included in that they were deprived of food and water to see how long it took before they died. They were placed in the high pressure chamber, and the experiments were performed to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival. There were many experiments that were carried out, it is hardly possible to list them on your fingers. But what made me most upset to look at, was when they pressed up a cockroach in the vagina of a woman to see how long it could live, and let it lay eggs in her body and multiply. Much of the experiments degenerated in that the researchers actually enjoyed it it was doing. All the victims didn't were used only for experimental research, but also for pleasure. It was a sadistic entertainment, frankly, just because they had the ability, power and could do whatever they wanted.

Philosophy of a Knife is very stylistic, artistic and thoroughly executed and provides a frightening atmosphere that's very tiring to watch. Andrey uses a very special and unique style as well. Here he uses noises and visual effects, buckets of red paint (which in this case is black) that splashes in Andreys own way. The music is also composed by Alexander Shevchenko, he always have a great impact on the films scary atmosphere, because it raises very unpleasant sensations in our body along with the somewhat ambiguous images that easily attaches itself firmly like a parasite in the cornea.

Andrey sacrificed much to complete this documentary, among other things, he was arrested by the Russian secret, because of some information he got hold of. This was confidential information that has been archived and privatized events the world wouldn't had access to. You get a clear insight into all the details that sometimes are very painful to watch. But it is also interesting how Andrey has managed to interview a survivor, because all of us can get a true picture from a stylistic point of view, based on a 100% true story.

You can't compare this movie with Tun Fei Mou's movie "Men Behind the Sun" from 1988. Both films deal with the same subject, but they are conducted in two completely different ways. Philosophy of a Knife provides a much more developed explanation and a documentary feel unlike anything else. I also think it's wrong to see this movie for entertainment purposes. It has a story to tell, and should also be based on something that is based on real events. I would say that it's horrible and raises a great disgust, not only the film but the whole event itself. There's nothing I hate as much as I hate people, and this film shows further signs of man's true nature. It's disgusting!

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