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Tea Leaves

Onoda, the man who fought reality

Japanese soldier's quixotic campaign comes to life on the big screen

Onoda in handmade camouflage gear. (All photos courtesy of Le Pacte)

It's Sunday night in a small market town in southwest France where the geese easily outnumber the human population. The cinema here has over 100 seats, but thanks to the pandemic only four are occupied. This tiny detachment of hardcore cinephiles seems totally appropriate for the film on view.

Directed and co-written by Arthur Harari, "Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle" is a French film with dialogue in Japanese and a smattering of Tagalog, an official language of the Philippines.

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