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United Red Army (2007)

Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama sanso e no michi (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 27 May 2011 (USA)
A story about the rise and fall of United Red Army, a real life 70s short-lived Japanese armed revolutionary communist movement similar to more famous Red Brigades in Italy or ... See full summary »

Director:

Kôji Wakamatsu

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Maki Sakai Maki Sakai ... Mieko Toyama
Arata Iura Arata Iura ... Hiroshi Sakaguchi (as Arata)
Akie Namiki Akie Namiki ... Hiroko Nagata
Gô Jibiki Gô Jibiki ... Tsuneo Mori
Shima Ohnishi Shima Ohnishi ... Kunio Bando
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maria Abe Maria Abe
Tomori Abe Tomori Abe ... Michiyo Kaneko
Anri Ban Anri Ban ... Fusako Shigenobu
Kenji Date Kenji Date
Yuki Fujii Yuki Fujii
Yoshio Harada ... (voice)
Len Hisa Len Hisa
Megumi Ichinose Megumi Ichinose
Keigo Kasuya Keigo Kasuya
Junpei Kawa Junpei Kawa
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Storyline

A story about the rise and fall of United Red Army, a real life 70s short-lived Japanese armed revolutionary communist movement similar to more famous Red Brigades in Italy or Baader-Meinhof Group (a.k.a. Red Army Faction) in West Germany. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

United Red Army See more »

Filming Locations:

Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,161, 27 May 2011

Gross USA:

$1,753
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Tomo yo
Written by Nobuyasu Okabayashi
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User Reviews

 
Three Hours of Jitsuroku
5 April 2008 | by Thorsten_BSee all my reviews

Koji Wakamatsus latest entry in a line of more than 100 films is narrated in the style of "jutsuroku": a mixture of documentation and fictional scenes. In the very beginning of it's 189 minutes, an overview of the Japanese student movement in the 1960s is given almost à la history Channel. In uncomplicated language, a voice-over speaker reflects the political occurrences, mentions the protagonists and, where necessary, explains the backgrounds. Slowly the fictional parts, which are woven into the documentary material, step in the foreground; even then all new characters are introduced with name, age and other details which are written on the screen above their heads. Based on various sources that witnessed the actual events, Wakamatsus surprisingly straight narration retells what happened within the Japanese Red Army Fraction after it's unification with fellow underground political party RLF. In their aim to overthrow the Japanese society both by terms of terrorist methods as well as with socialist agitation, the two groups got together in the mountains of the Gumma district to train for the "war" and to endlessly discuss their ideological basis. More and more, their exclusion from the outer world due to pressure from the police lead them to restrict to their own world and to heighten their political ideas to a sort of fundamental religion. Forced to put onto "self-trial", 14 of the 26 members fail to express sincere devotion to the communistic aim and are subsequently killed by their fellow fighter. Inevitably, what started out as a student movement to the world to the better, ends as an internal slaughter of fanatics killing each other. Compared to other left-wing terrorist movements from the 1970s (such as the German RAF, the French Action Directe or the Italian Brigade Rosse), the Japanese United Red Army – or at least what Wakamatsu shows us – is significant in it's harsh internal struggles; the war they wanted to fight, it seems, was more a war against their own insecurities and fears than against the Capitalist world. Although an important factor, it was a wise choice not to try to "explain" the events with the specialties of Japanese culture. By giving a chronological retelling of historical reality with the attempt to strictly remain with the facts, Wakamatsu rejects the option of fantasizing about motives and motivations, which is ever more intriguing given the fact that he knew many of the actual people personally. (He was himself involved in some of their early actions in the founding years). In the end, after three hours went by incredibly fast, what left is a deep and strong impact from a brilliant film that asks for repeating viewing and will most likely lead to further discussions and research on the viewers' side. It's a gripping, intelligent, tense and, yes, an uncompromising as well a stimulating film.


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