A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.
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Djibril Diop Mambéty
Djibril Diop Mambéty,
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This documentary was five years in the making, and revolves around 62-year-old Okuzaki Kenzo, a survivor of the battlefields of New Guinea in World War II who gained notoriety by slingshooting steel pinballs at Emperor Showa to protest against what he considered to be the ruler's war crimes. Setting out to conduct interviews with survivors and relatives, he finds the truth of the past to be elusive, achieving a breakthrough only when he confronts ex-Sergeant Yamada, who grudgingly admits the occurrence and instructional source of certain atrocities. Written by
I watched this film for a modern Japanese narrative class, but would definitely recommend it to anyone else. The copy I had made it hard to read the subtitles sometimes, but it was usually pretty obvious what was going on, because at that point Okuzaki Kenzo was usually beating somebody up for not telling him the truth.
It is sometimes hard to believe that this film is a documentary, because you want it to be fiction. It is not easy to watch, but whole-heartedly worth it, because even though it forces you to think about a lot of uncomfortable things, WWII was a very uncomfortable time, so it's rather appropriate, that way.
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