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Hero image for Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

Film (Excerpts) – 1983

M
Mature

This feature explores desire, death, and guilt in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WWll. Japanese art cinema legend Nagisa Ôshima (the infamous In the Realm of the Senses), cast musicians David Bowie (as a defiant captive) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (as a conflicted camp commander). The NZ-Japanese-English movie was shot in Auckland and Raratonga. It was financed through Kiwi company Broadbank during the 1980s tax shelter era. Kiwi crew included first assistant director Lee Tamahori, and actor Alistair Browning (Rain) as a prisoner of war. Sakamoto's electronic score — his first — was BAFTA-nominated. 

One of the finest offshore features financed by tax-sheltered New Zealand investment ... [it] was shot in Auckland and Rarotonga, with Englishman Jeremy Thomas as producer and Larry Parr, whose former Broadbank colleagues helped raise the finance, as an associate producer.
– Ex NZ Film Commission Marketing Director Lindsay Shelton, in his 2005 book The Selling of New Zealand Movies

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for David Bowie

David Bowie

As: Major Jack Celliers

Generic Profile image for Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Composer, As: Captain Yonoi

Profile image for Alistair Browning

Alistair Browning

As: Karl De Jong

Generic Profile image for Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano

As: Sergeant Hara

Generic Profile image for Nagisa Ôshima

Nagisa Ôshima

Director, Writer

Generic Profile image for Jeremy Thomas

Jeremy Thomas

Producer

See all 35 credits

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