Maverick documentary filmmaker Kazuo Hara once again criticizes the mores and customs of Japanese society in this unsentimental portrait of adults with cerebral palsy. Focusing on how the CP victims are generally ignored or disregarded in Japan, Hara challenges his society’s taboos about physical handicaps. Using a deliberately harsh style, with grainy black-and-white photography and out-of-sync sound, Hara brings a stark realism to his subject that is raw and fresh. –Facets
Throughout the four decades of his career, Hara Kazuo has pursued the bizarre and disturbing margins of Japanese society, certain that central truths are to be found in fringe phenomena. His method of documentation, which he calls “action documentary,” pursues the shocking effect of the action film, following the gesture and staying in the moment – not commenting in voiceover from a safe distance. Hara’s innovations have transformed documentary filmmaking, and contributed directly to the current ascendance of the documentary, both within the industry and among audiences, on a global scale. His best-known admirer is Michael Moore, who lists Hara as one of his favorite directors.
Born in 1945, Hara Kazuo was influenced as a young man by the protest movements that took place throughout Japan and the world in the late 1960s and 70s. He founded Shisso Productions in 1971 with his wife, producer, and primary collaborator Sachiko Kobayashi. He has published five documentary films thus… read more
I was in awe of how resilient and brave they were in the face of so much challenge and hopelessness. Throughout the whole film I kept thinking just how physically exhausting it must be to have CP. An hour must feel like a day... One of the most depressing (yet perfect) docs I have ever seen.
The most abrasively personal film I have ever seen. Kazuo Hara has created a challenging document of the Green Lawn society; their trials and tribulations in reaching out to a world around them that instinctively recoils and ignores, and their friendship. This film cuts closer and paints a more realized and honest portrait than any I have ever seen due to the intrinsic vulnerability of these men. 10/10