As the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, Gen. Bonnor Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. This is the premise of the movie Emperor (video below). Tommy Lee Jones stars as General Douglas McArthur; Matthew Fox is Gen. Bonnor Fellers; directed by Peter Webber. Hubby and I saw this movie yesterday and I highy recommend it. Based on real events, using some actual WWII film footage, images, documents, the cast does a great job.
... to bring to life the American occupation of Japan in the perilous and unpredictable days just after Emperor Hirohito's World War II surrender. As General Douglas MacArthur (Jones) suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation, he assigns an expert in Japanese culture - and psychological warfare - General Bonner Fellers (Fox), to covertly investigate the looming question hanging over the country: should the Japanese Emperor, worshiped by his people but accused of war crimes, be punished or saved? Caught between the high-wire political intrigue of his urgent mission and his own impassioned search for the mysterious school teacher (Hatsune) who first drew him to Japan, Fellers can be certain only that the tricky subterfuge about to play out will forever change the history of two nations and his heart. (c) Roadside Attractions (Rotten Tomatoes)
Video (you can skip the advertistement).
From a review of Emperor at the A.V. Club:
The idea that nobody would care about momentous world events without some sappy romantic angle to add “heart” speaks to everything that’s woefully mediocre about mainstream American filmmaking these days. Even as an investigative procedural, though, Emperor is pretty dry stuff—the kind of movie in which one character delivers a lengthy monologue on European colonialism (vis-à-vis Japan’s invasion of Manchuria) and another testily replies “I don’t need a history lesson, your excellency.” Maybe not, but somebody evidently thought the audience did. Unlike The Sun, however, Emperor does at least have a credible MacArthur, even though Jones’ job description doesn’t include transforming himself into a well-known historical figure. (It might as well be Agent K in charge of the occupation.) Showing up about once per reel to deliver some homespun sarcasm, he provides a much-needed jolt of energy in what’s otherwise too often a beautifully lit, impressively mounted textbook chapter
Emperor is showing in select theaters, it may not be in your local area, but it's worth a drive to see.