Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama sanso e no michi

2007 [JAPANESE]

Crime / Drama

4
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 709

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 22, 2021 at 01:29 PM

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.7 GB
1280*714
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
3 hr 10 min
P/S 3 / 21
3.16 GB
1920*1072
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
3 hr 10 min
P/S 3 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jurguens 7 / 10

A tough but interesting film

In the early 60s student protests lead to the formation of a few left leaning organisations. Events spiral through the 60s with the protests turning into student revolts. Two organisation come to the fore as the most radical and enduring: the RAF, and the RLF. The two of them decide to join and form the United Red Army with the aim of starting a revolution that will lead to a better world. Except things don't go according to plan and events spiral down into an orgy of hatred, torture, and violence.

This is an uncompromising film directed by master of controversy Koji Wakamatsu. The story is linear and easy to follow. Perhaps it saturates the viewer with too much information, and some parts are too long, but it is quite interesting to see the formation of a terrorist group and their descent to hell. Furthermore, the fact that Wakamatsu knew a lot of the terrorists, himself participating in some of their earliest actions adds weight to the film.

It is a tough film to watch but quite interesting.

Reviewed by Thorsten_B 10 / 10

Three Hours of Jitsuroku

Koji Wakamatsus latest entry in a line of more than 100 films is narrated in the style of "jutsuroku": a mixture of documentation and fictional scenes. In the very beginning of it's 189 minutes, an overview of the Japanese student movement in the 1960s is given almost à la history Channel. In uncomplicated language, a voice-over speaker reflects the political occurrences, mentions the protagonists and, where necessary, explains the backgrounds. Slowly the fictional parts, which are woven into the documentary material, step in the foreground; even then all new characters are introduced with name, age and other details which are written on the screen above their heads. Based on various sources that witnessed the actual events, Wakamatsus surprisingly straight narration retells what happened within the Japanese Red Army Fraction after it's unification with fellow underground political party RLF. In their aim to overthrow the Japanese society both by terms of terrorist methods as well as with socialist agitation, the two groups got together in the mountains of the Gumma district to train for the "war" and to endlessly discuss their ideological basis. More and more, their exclusion from the outer world due to pressure from the police lead them to restrict to their own world and to heighten their political ideas to a sort of fundamental religion. Forced to put onto "self-trial", 14 of the 26 members fail to express sincere devotion to the communistic aim and are subsequently killed by their fellow fighter. Inevitably, what started out as a student movement to the world to the better, ends as an internal slaughter of fanatics killing each other. Compared to other left-wing terrorist movements from the 1970s (such as the German RAF, the French Action Directe or the Italian Brigade Rosse), the Japanese United Red Army – or at least what Wakamatsu shows us – is significant in it's harsh internal struggles; the war they wanted to fight, it seems, was more a war against their own insecurities and fears than against the Capitalist world. Although an important factor, it was a wise choice not to try to "explain" the events with the specialties of Japanese culture. By giving a chronological retelling of historical reality with the attempt to strictly remain with the facts, Wakamatsu rejects the option of fantasizing about motives and motivations, which is ever more intriguing given the fact that he knew many of the actual people personally. (He was himself involved in some of their early actions in the founding years). In the end, after three hours went by incredibly fast, what left is a deep and strong impact from a brilliant film that asks for repeating viewing and will most likely lead to further discussions and research on the viewers' side. It's a gripping, intelligent, tense and, yes, an uncompromising as well a stimulating film.

Reviewed by Houston1 8 / 10

No Objection!

The first hour or so of United Red Army sets up the necessary background. It reviews the events of the 1960's in Japan, particularly the student movement against militarism, tuition increases, etc., and features a lot of original news footage and still photographs from the time. The film was clearly done on a small budget and features mostly interior scenes on stage sets, so the television and newspaper clips serve in lieu of any attempt to portray the big events of the day (demonstrations then could include hundreds of thousands of people). Though I'm very familiar with the ideas of the Left, I know little about Japan and found this part engaging.

The second part, which lasts well over an hour, takes places in a remote cabin in the mountains, where members of the URA "revolutionary" student group are hiding out. One after another, they engage in so-called "criticism/ self-criticism" sessions involving the beating, torture, and ultimately killing of fellow members over various political apostasies and trivialities (you didn't clean the gun properly, comrade! you're wearing makeup, comrade!). Sitting and watching these grueling, interminable scenes are, I suppose, a bit like being forced to sit through such a session yourself – so the form of the film at this point corresponds neatly to its content.

The third, final hour details the seizure of a small mountain lodge by the remaining URA militants. The standoff between the URA and the security forces (over 1,500 were mobilized) is never shown from the outside as a whole, and just a few riot police appear during the scene in which the lodge is stormed. This gives the last part of the film an intensely psychological and claustrophobic feel: there are only the five militants, their one hostage, lots of barricaded interiors, no exterior visuals (at best, you just see sky and light), wafting tear gas and smoke, and voices (from the police commanders and some of the students' parents). It is effective and underscores the way in which the "revolutionaries'" commitment was more personal and subjective and less about the reality of the outside world.

This film can be quite nasty, a cross between a historical-realist, political work (like the recent Carlos) and Japanese snuff-horror (Audition, etc.). I'm a history nerd, so I'll recommend it, but you should know what you're in for.

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