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Prisoner/Terrorist
(Yuheisha – terorisuto)

Screening on Film
Directed by Masao Adachi.
With Tomorowo Taguchi, Panta, Taka Okubo.
Japan, 2007, 35mm, color, 113 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Prisoner/Terrorist (Yuheisha – terorisuto) introduction by Haden Guest and post-screening Skype discussion with Haden Guest and Masao Adachi. © Harvard Film Archive

A harrowing yet restrained cri de guerre, Adachi's return to directing after over thirty-five years is a sobering but nevertheless defiantly unapologetic portrait of resistance offered in a kind of homage to Japanese Red Army member Kozo Okamoto, the only JRA member to survive the infamous 1972 Lod Airport massacre. Disavowing any literal bio-pic transcription, Prisoner/Terrorist instead follows the path of poetry, loosely adapting French revolutionary Louis-Auguste Blanqui's Eternity Behind the Stars and offering an abstracted protagonist called simply "M", not identified with any official history but openly inspired by both Adachi and Okamoto during his thirteen years in Israeli prison. Set entirely within the prison where "M" fights against sadistic guards and insanity, visited by dream-like apparitions of Blanqui, Gramsci and other theorists of revolution. A meditative and more conceptual companion piece to the late Koji Wakamatsu's celebrated revisiting of his revolutionary past, United Red Army (2008), Adachi's latest film offers the promise of a career revival.

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Film = Activism. The Revolutionary Underground Cinema of Masao Adachi

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