Poster: The Human Condition, Part III: A Soldier's Prayer, 1962 [Hans Hillmann]

Poster: The Human Condition, Part III: A Soldier's Prayer, 1962 [Hans Hillmann]

... und dann kam das Ende (The Human Condition, Part III: A Soldier's Prayer) directed by Masaki Kobayashi, 1962. Constantin–Film AG, Germany. 23.25 x 33.125, double-sided. Design by Hans Hillmann with the same title on reverse designed by Ferry Ahrlé.

Graphic designer Hans Hillmann (1925–2014) is one of Germany’s most important modern poster artists; designing more than 130 film posters between 1953 and 1974 for celebrated films and directors alike including: Akira Kurosawa, Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Cocteau, Federico Fellini and Luis Buñuel.

The Human Condition (Ningen no joken), noted for its length at 9 hours, 39 minutes is a Japanese trilogy which takes place in World War II-era Japan. The film follows the journey of Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), a well-intentioned yet naive soldier and pacifist who faces great odds for his fight for survival — from labor camp supervisor to Imperial Army soldier to Soviet POW.  

Hillmann's minimal, black and white poster for the final film powerfully captures the emotional drama as it unfolds. The unusually simple, spliced horizontal bands heighten the tension of Kaji's exhaustive journey while hinting at the idea of a filmstrip or cinematic sequence. A beautifully evocative, minimal design.

A fine poster (never folded) with only a hint of wear along the corners. Poster will be rolled and shipped in a tube. Uncommon.