The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

    • Kazuo Hara
    • Japan
    • 1987
    • 122 min
    • Top 10
    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.

    Credits

    • 122 min
    • color
    • 16mm
    • Spoken languages: Japanese
    Director
    Kazuo Hara
    Production
    Sachiko Kobayashi for Shisso Productions
    Cinematography
    Kazuo Hara
    Editing
    Jun Nabeshima
    Sound
    Toyohiko Kuribayashi

    IDFA history

    2015
    Screened
    Top 10
    1999
    Screened
    Top 10
    1998
    Screened
    Top 10
    1997
    Screened
    Audience Favorites
    1990
    Screened

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