After leaving Iwanami Productions along with most of his cohorts, Ogawa embarked on an unusual path. For his first directorial effort, he gathered young activists together to make an independent documentary on the plight of correspondence students. Many of the onscreen personalities featured plotting their activism would become core members of Ogawa Productions. Finding only mild success in fundraising, the production team was finally able to finish the film by selling their books and their blood.
Sanrizuka – The Three Day War (Sanrizuka: daisanji kyosei sokuryo soshi toso)Directed by Shinsuke Ogawa.
Japan, 1970, 16mm, black & white, 50 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
After Summer in Sanrizuka, Ogawa Productions attempted a more epic scale with Winter in Sanrizuka. It was roundly criticized as a failure. In the wake of this criticism, as well as visits by Joris Ivens and Black Panthers Elbert Howard and Roberta Alexander, the collective became increasingly militant. They decided to make a quick and dirty report from the front – or “bullet film” (dangan pereiga) – shot over the course of three days as 2,500 protestors battled 6,500 police.