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April 13 - 14

Extreme Lives: The Films of Hara Kazuo

A true radical, Hara Kazuo has produced a series of shockingly personal documents which challenge the mores of postwar Japanese society through stark, revelatory modes of presentation.

“I make bitter films. I hate mainstream society.” – Hara Kazuo

This program is co-presented with the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and the Japan Society of Boston. Special thanks to Tetsuki Ijichi, Tidepoint Pictures and Jed Rapfogel, Anthology Film Archives.


April 13 (Friday) 7 pm

Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974

Directed by Hara Kazuo
Japan 1974, 16mm, b/w, 98 min.
Japanese with English subtitles

In this autobiographical work Hara turns the camera on his ex-wife Takeda Miyuki, a bisexual feminist activist who has relocated to Okinawa.  She gets pregnant following a tryst with an African-American G.I. and proceeds to eviscerate Hara in a private conversation with his girlfriend, Sachiko. Miyuki proves to be the perfect cinematic device for Hara to reveal the most intimate details of his fascinating life. Print courtesy of Tidepoint Pictures.

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April 13 (Friday) 9 pm

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On
(Yuki Yukite shingun)

Directed by Hara Kazuo
Japan 1987, 16mm, color, 122 min.
Japanese with English subtitles

Hara turns his probing camera on Kenzo Okuzaki, a World War II
veteran whose crusade against Emperor Hirohito brought him prison terms for murder and for shooting pachinko balls at the Royal Palace. When Okuzaki seeks out members of a squadron who were responsible for the death of two of their own soldiers, his pursuit grows strange and unexpected, his tactics becoming more and more aggressive until he physically attacks anyone who resists his inquiries. Although fully engaged in the filming process, Hara’s reserved, observational position allows his volatile subject to express his unpopular political position with reckless abandon. Print courtesy of George Eastman House.

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April 14 (Saturday) 7 pm

Goodbye CP

Directed by Hara Kazuo
Japan 1972, 16mm, b/w, 82 min.
Japanese with English subtitles

Hara caused an uproar in Japan with this warts-and-all documentary portrait of people living with disabilities. Despite being ravaged by cerebral palsy, the poet Hiroshi unabashedly displays his body in the streets of Yokohama. He and his housemates provide a transgressive counter-narrative to representations of the disabled as inherently noble, particularly in their drunken confessions, in which one man admits to rape. Hara’s powerful debut feature had far-reaching impact: the director and his producer were both sought out to help establish Japanese public health policy. Print courtesy of Tidepoint Pictures. 


April 14 (Saturday) 8:45 pm

A Dedicated Life

Directed by Hara Kazuo
Japan 1994, 35mm, color, 157 min.
Japanese with English subtitles

This portrait of Communist novelist Mitsuharu Inoue chronicles the
writer’s struggles to overcome the effects of liver cancer. In another director’s hands, Inoue’s story might become hagiography but in typical fashion, Hara cuts to the core of his subject. He reveals a man who cheats on his wife and lies about his past accomplishments despite being revered by his students and colleagues. Notwithstanding these revelations, Hara remains sympathetic to this larger-than-life subject. Print courtesy of Tidepoint Pictures.

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