I must say that when I read the synopsis for this film in the Chicago International Film Fest brochure it seemed interesting. It said that it was a documentary which explores the rich life of a notorious photographer who broke all sorts of new grounds in Japan. I thought that I would go and see the film in order to see how he had been influential and how he caused controversy only to see a film that was horribly disappointing. To me the movie played more as a tribute to a photographer that the filmmakers liked than a true documentary. I walked out of the theater having learned very little. The film is filled with interviews of people who both know and love Araki, people who are all on his side. When there is a controversial subject matter, as Araki's photos undoubtedly were, there are inevitably two sides to the argument. In this film the audience is only exposed to the side of that argument that loves the man and his work. I can't remember one negative thing that was said about Araki throughout the entire feature. In the end I felt as though I had watched a feature length tribute video that someone would show at Araki's birthday party or a family gathering, NOT a film that delved deep into the information and arguments surrounding a potentially rich subject.
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