One of the wildest and unsettling cinematic rides I've had in awhile. Wakamatsu pummels, pounds, steam rolls, and tortures the viewer. The first third's punk aesthetic and score is captivating but gives way to a long 2nd act punctuated by an evil-hearted woman, ideological zeal, and a laughable but chilling outcome. The final standoff Ieft me shell-shocked. The stuff of nightmares.
a sprawling, messy epic that makes hollywood-copycat BS like "the baader-meinhof complex" look like "the breakfast club." i've heard wakamatsu was once sympathetic to the URA, and his POV in the movie is strange and unique - not exactly a cautionary against misguided ideals or a bittersweet lament to the freewheelin hippie era. in fact, it doesn't resemble western baby-boomer culture much at all, in form or content.
I was sometimes worried that Wakamatsu might be moving into 'bad guys and good guys' territory, but every time I doubted him he allowed us to look at the cruel characters in a different perspective. I think you can tell from the start that he knew the people he was portraying, and that fact made it a very powerful and informative work.