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 »
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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