August is the season in Japan for a never-ending stream of films and TV programs about World War II. Quite naturally, from the Japanese perspective, most of this outpouring examines the war’s closing days, particularly the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some outsiders (including this one) question this emphasis, which edits out most of the eight years Japan was at war, starting with China in 1937, while giving the impression that Japan was more victim than perpetrator.

The latest film in this long line is “Nihon no Ichiban Nagai Natsu” (“Japan’s Longest Summer”), a docu-drama directed by Hitoshi Kurauchi. The film is based on an eponymous novel by Kazutoshi Hando that Kihachi Okamoto made into the 1967 hit “Nihon no Ichiban Nagai Hi” (Japan’s Longest Day).

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