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Goddo supiido yuu! Burakku emparaa (1976)

 |  Documentary
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 185 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

The 1970s in Japan saw the rise of motorcycle gangs, which drew the interest of the media. The movie follows a member of the "Black Emperors" gang and his interaction with his parents after he gets in trouble with the police.

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The 1970s in Japan saw the rise of motorcycle gangs, which drew the interest of the media. The movie follows a member of the "Black Emperors" gang and his interaction with his parents after he gets in trouble with the police.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor  »

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Trivia

Provided the band God Speed You, Black Emperor with their name. See more »

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Spoofed in Hazy Life (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Fans of documentaries or Japanese culture will love it
9 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie really deserves far more credit than it gets. It's a highly interesting, raw and phenomenally executed look into the playful early years of Bosozoku culture, a massive and nearly forgotten Japanese youth phenomenon of the 70's and 80's. This film puts you right in the middle of it's joyful and mostly harmless beginnings. The debut of the award winning director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, it was filmed in black and white to save money but this does not take away from the style and cinematic value of this film. There is so much to love about this movie: The artsy and humorous still photographs that were inserted, the excellent Japanese 70's rock n' roll soundtrack, the highly personal glimpse into the public and gang lives of the youthful and adorable members, and the genius I mean GENIUS cinematography. They must have had dozens and dozens of cameramen following these guys around day and night and it definitely shows.

The film focuses on a single motorcycle gang called the Black Emperors and it's members, many of whom are no older than 17. The first half of the film focuses on Decko, one of the leaders who is struggling with his parents after being arrested for vandalizing a taxi and is in danger of having his license suspended. The rest of the film focuses on the other younger members and their personal lives inside and outside of the Black Emperors as they ride through Tokyo at night drinking, vandalizing bridges, dancing in the streets and trying to look cool. It seems like the general goal of these gangs was to have as good of a time as possible while looking as cool as possible and having the most members on bikes. They constantly brag to each other about how homeless and badass they are, but we see after the cameras follow them home that they outside the gang most of them are normal Japanese kids living with their parents so there's also this make believe aspect at play in the gangs. There really is a lot to this film. It's artistic, stylish, dark, raw, happy, and even violent. A lot of people complain about the incomplete nature of the English subtitles and incoherent story. I don't think these people realize that what they are watching is 100% real. No scripting, no acting. The subtitles are dense where necessary and scarce when not but most of the important parts are fully subtitled so that the viewer can understand what is happening. The only thing I would change about this film is the period it was filmed. The early 80's was the peak of the Bosozoku movement and was much more gritty, violent and AKIRA-like, sometimes serving as a training ground for low level Yakuza members. This is the beginnings of Bosozoku culture when the gangs were more like social clubs than street thugs but this is also a highly interesting world to see in this film. If you like documentaries, do yourself a favor and watch this film. I could talk about it for days.


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