The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On - Film Screening
Part of the film series
Extreme Private Ethos: Japanese Documentaries
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
HARA Kazuo. 1987. 122 min. Color. 16mm.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
62 year-old war veteran Okuzaki Kenzo is known to be an erratic and attention-seeking man. He has made a declaration to assassinate Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei and was found shooting pachinko balls with a homemade slingshot aiming at Emperor Hirohito. While stationed in New Guinea during WWII, several soldiers in his unit died mysteriously. Filmmaker Hara Kazuo follows the unpredictable Okuzaki as he tracks down and stomps into the homes of fellow veterans to seek out the truth about these deaths. His behavior turns increasingly violent as he learns of gruesome and savage acts committed on Japanese soldiers within the army unit. (A Tidepoint Pictures film.)
"Hara was grappling with how to do a documentary in an unconventional way that didn't numb people...To have a kindred spirit, to have someone who has inspired me very early on… I felt after watching [this] film that I had permission to make Roger and Me the way I was making it." — Michael Moore, filmmaker (Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004; Sicko, 2007)
"One of the weirdest, most dramatic stories ever… It's on my list of the 10 best movies ever." — Errol Morris, filmmaker (The Thin Blue Line, 1988; The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, 2003)
Caligari Award, Berlin International Film Festival
KNF Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival
About the Director
HARA Kazuo, born in 1945 in Yamaguchi City, was strongly influenced by the cultural and social upheavals of 1970s Japan. Recognized as one of the most significant documentary filmmakers, Hara won Berlin International Film Festival's Caligari Prize and Japanese Film Directors’ Guild's New Director Award for The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987).
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The series Extreme Private Ethos: Japanese Documentaries is supported, in part, by the Japan Foundation. Support for film programs at the Asia Society is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts.