“It’s the world-wide, peace-loving Americanism that is gaining in strength and oppressing the lives of us Japanese, and making the lives of our youth hopeless.”
During a wedding, former revolutionaries in Japan reflect on love and betrayal during their years as students.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Flashback Films
- Japanese Films
- Nagisa Oshima Films
This deeply personal, highly politicized film by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima is a difficult film for Western viewers to grasp. It plunges us immediately into a period of Japanese history most will be unfamiliar with, and the back-and-forth storyline makes it hard to keep track of (or care much about) any of the individual characters. Although we quickly understand the basic gist of the film — former revolutionaries accuse one another in an attempt to solve the mystery of a tragic in-group death — ultimately Oshima keeps things too stylized (and talky) to generate much dramatic interest. Those curious about mid-century Japanese political movements will certainly want to check this one out; all others should be forewarned.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A sincere, sometimes powerful attempt to portray post-revolutionary guilt
No; avoid watching it as your first Oshima experience.