Produced at the height of Japan’s economic boom of the 1980’s, Yama documents the struggles of unionised day-labourers in the San’ya district of Tokyo, on the frontlines of a violent class war. It is a film for the workers, intended to function as a weapon in their struggle – one that cost director Sato his life. On December 22 1985, during filming, he was murdered by Yakuza gangsters whom Sato intended to expose for their criminal involvement in the restructuring of the job market. A collective of directors headed by Kyoichi Yamaoka finished the film, before Yamaoka, too, was later murdered.
This wry chamber piece from director Mikio Naruse focuses on a couple whose pet peeves and minor irritations escalate into major rifts and animosity.
When man-about-town Saheiji finds himself unable to pay for a bill at a brothel, he is forced to remain there to work off his debt. However he finds his wit and resourcefulness enable him to turn this situation to his advantage, as he interacts with a whole range of characters, from rivalling courtesans to political activists.
Maki is the leader of a female gang who fights for justice, but she ends up being framed and sent to a sadistic woman’s prison. Will Maki be able to escape and take revenge?
Based on the novel by Naoki Prize-nominated author Taro Takeshita, a thriller full of black humor. An unrelenting husband murders his adulterous wife, then embarks on a crusade to extort all the wealthy men that she had affairs with.
Riko, a suicide-obsessed young woman, meets up with K, an angry young man whose dream is to blow out all of existence. Together, they join up with three other would-be terrorists on an errand to deliver a “cake” to an unspecified location somewhere in Tokyo.
A young insect buff from Hokkaido captures a Papilio memnon butterfly, which is not supposed to be present in that area. The larva of a Papilio memnon sticks to someone in Nagasaki and sets out on a journey to the east. As the larva travels to Hagi, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Hong Kong, Yokohama, and Tokyo, various loves and human dramas unfold.
Kazuo Hara, who rattled the Japanese establishment with The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On and Goodbye CP, turns his camera on controversial writer Mitsuharu Inoue in this powerful documentary. Originally intending to spend years on the project, Hara was forced to change his plan when he discovered that Inoue was dying from cancer. The result is a moving film that captures the essence of the contentious writer’s life–and the significance of his death. A Dedicated Life is not only a tribute to a courageous man, but it also reveals Hara’s own dedication to outsiders, mavericks, and nonconformists who chaff against the constraints of normal society.