Confrontational Japanese documentarian Kazuo Hara’s defining film follows rabid sexagenarian Kenzo Okuzaki, a WWII veteran dedicated to uncovering the wartime crimes of the Emperor’s army, by any means necessary.
Eschewing all but the most perfunctory backstory (including Okuzaki’s prior prison stints for murder, shooting pellets at the Imperial Palace with a slingshot, and distributing pornographic leaflets of Hirohito), Hara follows Okuzaki as he interrogates fellow veterans about acts, including murder and cannibalism, inflicted by the Japanese Army on its own soldiers after the surrender. Okuzaki seems to relish brow-beating or straight-up beating a story out of his interviewees, or recruiting actors to pose as the relatives of dead squad-mates. The film ends with Okuzaki imprisoned for the attempted murder of one particularly reticent subject’s son, though the attempt occurs offscreen (as does Okuzaki’s much-rumored interference with Hara’s project).
Booklet fills in some context.
Much of the fascinating stuff occurs offscreen, but what’s here is a dire, darkly funny portrait of the insanity forged in opposition to repression.