Haunting. It's a life-changing picture film. The naked walk speech is terrifying. The fight between the couple with their kid in between, the poetic event, the manifestations, the testimonies of an handicapped saying he raped. This movie is absolutely insane. It's not just a social documentary of disabled people in japan in the 70's: it's a door to human insights I've rarely seen.
the great thing about his doc is that its not just about humanizing a minority, people with cp, Its reflecting about what these kinds of documentaries actually are and what they could be. Their stories, their feelings... we shouldnt feel pity, althought its almost impossible, they dont need any more of that.
Almost unbearable to watch. Hara's great feat is by constructing the mise-en-scene almost totally around CP individuals (excepting scenes in the public), he goads us to imagine a world where CP is in some form, normal, if not the norm. This is all the more as bittersweet contrasted against the poet Hiroshi Yokota's revelation at the film's conclusion,
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.
Where has this filmmaker been my whole life? Hara brings such a fresh approach to not only documentaries but cinema in general that his films feel like they came out yesterday. I loved this unflinching look at CP, which is unafraid to portray the unsympathetic side of these people who most filmmakers would simply (and wrongly) pity.
"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!
At first, I wasn't sure where this film was headed. But once it hits the 45 minute mark, many things start to take root. All of which I would not dare reiterate in this brief comment box. However, with that said, this movie shows incredible control and restraint toward a delicate, and rather questionable, topic. I say questionable, because of the dilemma the footage of this film ignites within my conscience.
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.
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.