In 1972, Miyuki tells her ex-lover Kazuo that she's going to Okinawa with their son. Kazuo decides to film her. He narrates his visits to her there: first while her flatmate is Sugako, a ... See full summary »
Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »
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.
Director Kazuo Hara tells the tale of the eponymous Chika and four different relationships she has during the turbulent political climate of the 1970s. Four different actresses play the ... See full summary »
Set in the last few years of the shogun's rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty ... See full summary »
In 1972, Miyuki tells her ex-lover Kazuo that she's going to Okinawa with their son. Kazuo decides to film her. He narrates his visits to her there: first while her flatmate is Sugako, a woman Miyuki is attracted to; then, while she works at a bar and is with Paul, an African-American soldier. Once, Kazuo brings his girlfriend, Sachiko. We see Miyuki with her son, with other bar girls, and with Sachiko. Miyuki, pregnant, returns to Tokyo and delivers a mixed-race child on her own with Kazuo and Sachiko filming. She joins a women's commune, talks about possibilities, enjoys motherhood, and is uninterested in a traditional family. Does the filmmaker have a point of view? Written by
I was fascinated by Kazuo Hara's THE EMPEROR'S NAKED ARMY MARCHES ON, so I thought I'd try of his earlier documentaries. In this one, he follows his ex-girlfriend Miyuki Takeda and their child to Okinawa where she bounces from a lesbian relationship to an interracial hetero relationship to a self-run day care facility and back to the mainland where she gives birth without medical assistance. Although Takeda is a fiercely independent, modernized woman and her relationship to the filmmaker provides some tense and compelling material, ultimately she's not nearly as engaging a subject as Okuzaki from NAKED ARMY. The most revealing aspects come from the interactions between Hara and Takeda, especially when he brings his new girlfriend into the picture! I also found the scenes of Takeda arguing with her nearly-silent girlfriend very interesting. However, there's a lot of "downtime" without much that's very compelling. The film is also plagued with technical problems... out-of-sync sound, a noisy camera, and the entire lengthy birth scene is out of focus (which Hara rightfully excuses because of his emotional state). This film might make a good companion piece to SHERMAN'S MARCH, although McElwee does a lot more to keep momentum going.
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