The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
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The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
IDFA 2015

The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

Yuki yukite shingun
Kazuo Hara
122 min
Festival history
Kenzo Okuzaki is one of the few surviving members of a Japanese army unit stationed in New Guinea during the Second World War. For decades he’s been on a crusade against Emperor Hirohito, whom he wants to force to accept responsibility for the war crimes that took place and the atrocities Japanese soldiers suffered. Filming in cinema verité style, director Kazuo Hara follows Okuzaki’s one-man uprising for five years. The focus of Okuzaki’s investigation is the death of two soldiers from his regiment. They were allegedly executed for desertion a full three weeks after the end of the war. In his efforts to uncover the truth, he visits surviving comrades and members of the murdered soldiers’ families, and confronts his former sergeant with incriminating evidence. Despite his frailty, 62-year-old Okuzaki is radical, uncompromising and even violent when he has to be. Hara’s unflinching shots of these confrontational scenes make Okuzaki a most ambiguous hero. But these assaults pale into almost comic insignificance in the face of revelations of the barbarisms his targets committed. Forty years later, these individuals have absolutely no intention of jeopardizing their peace of mind.
Screening copy
    The Japan Foundation
    The Japan Foundation