One of a handful of documentaries at the summit of most powerful films ever shot. Kazuo Hara and his subjects have created a touchstone of what it means to be jerked across the razor's edge between flesh and spirit every nanosecond of every day. Here we can gather wisdom we don't want and judgment we pray to avoid. Welcome to another perfect day.
The modernity of this 1972 documentary is striking. I would even say: it has classical quality. No superposing of the director's judgements and agenda, the protagonists are given the stage. The only moment where the director's agenda crosses a border is when they continue filming despite Hiroshi's wife begging them not to. Otherwise I can't imagine a more perfect example of how documentaries should be made.
Very unusual take on handicapped people. Filmed in a way you don't feel pity - you feel like you're among them. Talks about issues which are normally not a part of the discourse, like CP people having their own families/kids.
"Goodbye CP challenges taboos about representations of handicapped people, in particular the shame associated with physical differences." - Filming at the Margins: The Documentaries of Hara Kazuo. Stark. Disturbing. Heartbreaking. There are real human beings behind these twisted facades with thoughts and desires and dreams. Kazuo forces you to look and dares you not to look away.
It excites me to find films from Japan that challenge their rigid way of thinking, and the Japanese subculture is (in my opinion) the most critical of traditionalism barre none. Goodbye CP goes beyond what is comfortable. From spending every painful second watching a man cross the street on his knees to the subjects talking about their first sexual encounters. The filmmakers give you a point of view you cannot deny.
Besides CP, these men (because no women are given the mic in the film) have serious issues with manhood: most of them used to be compulsive johns, one of them joined a gang and (in order to?) rape(d) a woman, another one hits his disabled wife in the nose. And one wanted to see his baby girl in micro skirts. I'm sure they did have a shit life, but they were so close to the average MRA that they seem... normal!
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.