Kaigenrei (Coup d'état) (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kaigenrei (Coup d'état) (1973)

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Filmmaker Kiju Yoshida (aka Yoshishige Yoshida) directed this study of one of Japan's most controversial figures of the 1920s and 30s. Kita Ikki was an author and political activist who espoused a fervent nationalism and a right-wing brand of socialism that ran counter to the prevailing attitudes in Japan's leadership at the time. After spending several years in China (where he took part in an effort to overthrow the Qing Dynasty), Ikki returned in Japan even more determined to change his nation's ways, and in 1919 he published a book titled An Outline Plan For The Reorganization of Japan, in which he proposed eliminating corruption and outside influence through a military coup. Later Ikki was one of the key organizers behind "the February 26 Incident," a failed attempt in 1936 to overthrow the Japanese government with the help of 1,483 soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. In Kaigenrei (aka Coup D'etat), Rentaro Mikuni plays Ikki as he is driven to put his theories into action following the death of his brother; as Ikki helps to organize a violent overthrow, he is troubled by his stubborn loyalties to the Emperor, and a military leader sympathetic to Ikki's cause weighs the notion of saving the nation he loves through an act of treason. Yoshida retired from filmmaking after completing Coup D'etat, though he returned to the movie industry in 1986 with Ningen No Yakusoku.

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