In what has to be considered a monumental release, Warner Home Video has picked May 22 to bring out the Letters From Iwo Jima /Flags of Our Fathers - 5 Disc Commemorative Edition.

This set will sell for $46.96.

Letters From Iwo Jima:

Synopsis:

Sixty-one years ago, US and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island's soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them. The Japanese soldiers are sent to Iwo Jima knowing that in all probability they will not come back. Among them are Saigo, a baker who wants only to live to see the face of his newborn daughter; Baron Nishi, an Olympic equestrian champion known around the world for his skill and his honor; Shimizu, a young former military policeman whose idealism has not yet been tested by war; and Lieutenant Ito, a strict military man who would rather accept suicide than surrender.

Leading the defense is Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, whose travels in America have revealed to him the hopeless nature of the war but also given him strategic insight into how to take on the vast American armada streaming in from across the Pacific. With little defense other than sheer will and the volcanic rock of the island itself, Gen. Kuribayashi's unprecedented tactics transform what was predicted to be a quick and bloody defeat into nearly 40 days of heroic and resourceful combat. Almost 7,000 American soldiers were killed on Iwo Jima; more than 20,000 Japanese troops perished. The black sands of Iwo Jima are stained with their blood, but their sacrifices, their struggles, their courage and their compassion live on in the letters they sent home. From Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood comes the untold story of the Japanese soldiers and their General who defended against the invading American forces on the island of Iwo Jima.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Actors: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase, Shido Nakamura, Hiroshi Watanabe, Takumi Bando, Yuki Matsuzaki

DVD Features:

- "Red Sun/Black Sand: Making Letters From Iwo Jima" Featurette

- "Faces of Combat: The Cast of Letters From Iwo Jima" Featurette

- Footage from Letters From Iwo Jima premiere in Tokyo

- Still gallery

Technical Specs:

- Rating: R

- Rating Reason: graphic war violence.

- Run Time: 140 minutes

- CC: Yes

- Language: English

- Subtitles: English, French Q, Latin Spanish

- Aspect Ratio: Original Aspect Ratio - 2.40 / Widescreen [16:9 Transfer]

- Sound Quality: Japanese 5.1

Flags of Our Fathers:

Synopsis:

It is the most memorable photograph of World War II, among the greatest pictures ever taken. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for photography and one of the most-reproduced images in the history of photography, the picture has inspired postage stamps, posters, the covers of countless magazines and newspapers, and even the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

"Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima," a picture taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945 depicts five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi. The image served as a counterpoint for one of the most vicious battles of the war: the fight to take Iwo Jima, a desolate island of black sand barely eight square miles that would prove a tipping point in the Pacific campaign. Lasting more than a month, the fight was a bloody, drawn-out conflict that might have turned the American public against the war entirely, had it not been for the photo, which was taken and published five days into the battle.

The photograph made heroes of the men in the picture as the three surviving flag-raisers were returned to the U.S. and made into props in the government's Seventh War Bond Tour. Uncomfortable with their new celebrity, the flag-raisers considered the real heroes to be the men who died on Iwo Jima; still, the American public held them up as the best America had to offer, the supermen who conquered the Japanese...

...and then, just as quickly as it had arrived, the glory faded. For two of the surviving flag-raisers, life became a series of compromises and disappointments; for the third, happiness came only by shutting off his war experiences and rarely speaking of them ever again.

Flags of Our Fathers is a human drama of friendship and love, sacrifice and manipulation, set against the violent conflict of the battle of Iwo Jima. Two-time Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood focuses equally on the war and home, crosscutting between the viciousness of the battle and the manufactured propaganda campaign and careful manipulation of the image that followed - issues that remain prevalent today. As Flags of Our Fathers shows how the photograph became the very beginning of celebrity worship, the film questions our need to create and celebrate heroes, sometimes at a cost.

DVD Features:

- On camera introduction by Clint Eastwood

- "Words on the Page" Featurette

- "Six Brave Men" Featurette

- "The Making of an Epic" Featurette

- "Raising the Flag" Featurette

- "Visual Effects" Featurette

- "Looking Into the Past" Featurette

Technical Specs:

- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35:1

- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Tracks

Letters From Iwo Jima /Flags of Our Fathers - 5 Disc Commemorative EditionSpecs:

- No. of Discs: 5

- Packaging Type: Slipcase

- CC: Yes

- Soundtrack Language: English

Evan Jacobs