The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)
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Critic Reviews for The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
Director Hara does not intrude; he merely records as sixty-two-year-old Kenzo Okuzaki relentlessly pursues his campaign to expose dark secrets and discredit the Emperor.
It's meant to offend the Japanese establishment for their silence over Emperor Hirohito's failure to accept responsibility for the war, and does so with relish.
Here's a nasty little piece of work that's both shocking and heroic in its audacity.
It's no easy task when the subject of choice wills everyone around him to reevaluate their own existence by his warped standards.
Audience Reviews for The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On
It's an angry movie, even with strong touches of dark humour, and you can't blame Okuzaki for being mad when everyone else acts like nothing ever happen. The man is clearly unstable, and you could even accuse the makers of this film of exploiting the whole thing. But his anger is honest, and the apathy of the people around him is both sad and frustrating. The constant contrast between the super polite Okuzaki, and his Mr Hyde persona makes the movie a sharp critique towards Japanese rituals of conduct, and how Japanese society has become so used to numb their senses than they can't even feel regular human emotions anymore. "Are you robots?" asks Okuzaki to a group of cops watching him. Maybe they do feel something, but they don't know how to express it anymore, and that's probably what pisses Okuzaki the most. The man wants a reaction from a country that has shut down said reactions from it's citizens a long time ago.
[font=Century Gothic]"The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On" is a fascinating verite documentary about Kenzo Okuzaki, veteran of the disastrous Japanese occupation of New Guinea during World War II which resulted in mass starvation. To right the wrongs he feels were inflicted on his fellow soldiers, he travels all over Japan on a mission to console their souls while confronting those he feels responsible, especially Emperor Hirohito.(Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the emperor in Japan just a figurehead?) He plans to eventually return to New Guinea. [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Whereas Okuzaki's heart may be in the right place(especially the part about not forgetting the war, so there will be no wars in the future), he also believes that the ends justify the means which is how wars get started in the first place. He is himself quite violent, having served 13+ years in prison for the separate charges of having killed a real estate broker(He says that he did not mean to kill him and this seems unrelated to his crusade. In fact, this imprisonment may have led him to contemplate his current mission.), using a slingshot to attack the emperor and my personal favorite, distributing pornographic images of the emperor. He also physically attacks two of his interviewees. Confrontation is all well and good but without any give and take, he is not going to get anywhere.[/font]
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