LOS ANGELES — In a resonant scene from film director Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima,” soldiers find a letter on the person of a just-deceased enemy. Upon learning that the letter is from his mother, sharing her hopes and fears and wisdom, they are haunted by their shared humanity with this enemy.

The scene is doubly poignant in that the soldiers making this discovery were Japanese soldiers discovering that we Americans were in fact human. A Hollywood film’s protagonists for once are not “us” in all our glory, but rather those whom we opposed in one of the most grueling wars in history.

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