Filmed on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, I Was a Prisoner in Siberia re-creates the actual ordeal of a Japanese soldier who spent three years in a Soviet prison camp. The main character, played by Akira Shigemitsu, is originally slated to be released along with four of his comrades after a year's incarceration. But because of his outspoken anti-communism, the Japanese man is kept behind prison walls for two additional years, where he is subjected to the Soviet's "re-education" program. I Was a Prisoner in Siberia was an outgrowth of a short-subject documentary which received limited U.S. release through the auspices of the State Department.
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