Kazuo Hara

Kazuo Hara – Yuki Yukite shingun AKA The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987)

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is a brilliant exploration of memory and war guilt, a subject often ignored in modern Japan. In this controversial documentary, Kazuo Hara follows Kenzo Okuzaki in his real-life struggle against Emperor Hirohito. He proudly declares that he shot BBs at the Royal Palace, distributed pornographic images of the Emperor, and once killed a man for the sake of his strange crusade. As the film progresses, Okuzaki reveals a gruesome mystery: why were some Japanese officers killing their own soldiers during WWII? What happened to their bodies? Okuzaki begs, cajoles, and occasionally beats the story out of elderly veterans. Read More »

Kazuo Hara – Zenshin shosetsuka aka A Dedicated Life (1994)

An interesting documentary about an interesting man, to say the least. Kazuo Hara follows up his controversial work “The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On” with a bio-documentary about Mitsuharu Inoue, a famous and popular (especially among women) post-war Japanese writer. The film follows the last few years of the life of Inoue before he dies of cancer in 1992. The film starts out as a usual bio-documentary like many others, but the second half of the film digs into the writer’s past and comes up with some unexpected discoveries. Read More »

Kazuo Hara – Nippon Asbest Village AKA Sennan Asbestos Disaster (2016)

Ten years in the making, Kazuo Hara’s three-and-a-half-hour-long epic is a longitudinal study of asbestos victims demanding reparations from a heartless state. Hara records the eight-year struggle of the plaintiffs and their lawyers. A dogged and dramatic depiction of their intense battle. Read More »

Kazuo Hara – Gokushiteki erosu: Renka 1974 aka Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (1974)

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? Read More »