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A Dedicated Life
(Zenshin shosetsuka)

Directed by Kazuo Hara.
Japan, 1994, DCP, color, 157 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
DCP source: Shisso Production, Inc.

Hara’s rarely screened fourth film is an extended intimate portrait of celebrated and outspoken novelist Mitsuharu Inoue, a project that took a radical new direction when the writer’s recently diagnosed cancer began to spread throughout his body. Responding to the urgent sense of time running out, Hara filmed extended sessions of Inoue’s writing workshops, lectures and visits to the doctor, while also interviewing the many women in the author’s life. Like his early films, A Dedicated Life refuses to sentimental hagiography, revealing Inoue’s jealousies, anger and darker side as expressions of the inherent and irresolvable complexity of the portrait film. And like Extreme Private Eros in particular, Hara’s thoughtful film also reveals the contradictory and often self-destructive impulses of love and devotion.

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