An impressive documentary in which Kazuo Hara tackles an unusual and highly personal subject: his former girlfriend, Takeda Miyuki. In many ways this film feels like a home movie, with the eventual out of sync sound and the occasionally blurry cinematography. It is also, however, an impressive personal and subjective documentation of a relationship as well as an example of alternative lifestyles in 70’s Japan. During 3 years Kazuo Hara follows his ex-lover, a feminist, bisexual and independent woman. The most impressive parts come from the highly personal moments (and some could argue, for the voyeuristic pleasure of the spectator) such as when Miyuki is having a new relationship with a black American man and when she gives birth to his child, all alone in her bed. Even at a time today when the personal lives of many people are bared in all fronts, from internet to reality shows, this film still stands out. After all, there is a major difference to simply being shown someone else’s life for TV ratings and having it candidly discussed from a first person point of view.
In this intensely intimate documentary, filmmaker Kazuo Hara takes on a very difficult subject: his former lover, Takeda Miyuki. A feminist bisexual in 1970s Japan, Miyuki is a maverick in a rigid society driven by convention. As much a participant in this film as he is the filmmaker, Hara follows Miyuki to Okinawa and documents her uncommon life as his feelings unravel in front of the camera. As Hara himself confessed, “I like to make something happen and then shoot it.” With its grainy black and white scenes and its out-of-synch sound, Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 creates the illusion of a home movie, but its intimacy pushed the bounds of the documentary cinema in Japan.
“best nouvelle vague of the world”
“inspiring documentary that shows one of a kind Japanese woman. featuring an alternative side of early seventies in japan this movie reveals the beginning of cultural and sexual new conflict of modern Asia. director follow his ex for three years or so through the islands. see her bisexual and interracial relationships with a neutral acceptance and even cries showing a fragility rare in Japanese manhood. walk around contacting dancers, strippers and bar girls of Okinawa. take the risk of putting his new wife in contact with the intelligent, brilliant, helpful former wife. and shows an out of focus amazing scene of baby being born without any help. beautiful, subtle, honest and strong”
“Very much a good watch. Hara’s ex-girlfriend Takeda Miyuki is an incredible subject matter as well. Her headstrong ways, while sometimes seeming arrogant, are impressive considering the time and culture in which she was living. Her bisexual relationships, not to mention her interracial child she births, are very brave. She is obviously a very independent. so independent in fact, that she births her half black half Japanese baby all by herself while Hara watches on from his camera and another woman sits next her watching while holding a microphone. While she has this incredible can-do attitude she doesn’t make much of it, which makes it all the more impressive.
While one could nitpick at the film for its technical shortcomings– out of sync sound and blurry shots– yet in many ways these things lend the film its authentic feeling. It is akin to watching an old homemade film, except the subject-person is more interesting than your family is likely to be.”
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