Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kenzo Okuzaki, Riichi Aikawa, Masaichi Hamaguchi, Toshio Hara, Shichiro Kojima, Masao Koshimizu, Taro Maruyama, Toshiya Nomura, Shizumi Okuzaki, Eizaburo Oshima, Rinko Sakimoto, Yukio Seo, Iseko Shimamoto, Minoru Takami, Kichitaro Yamada
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Kazuo Hara
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Running Time: 122
Date: 02/01/1987

The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Cannibal Hunter

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For those despairing over the docile nature of today's documentaries, here's a nasty little piece of work that's both shocking and heroic in its audacity. Japanese citizen and World War II veteran Kenzo Okuzaki, who was in his mid-60s during filming, tracks down several former military officers. Through force of will and sheer badgering he manages to lure bits of truth out of rumors of wartime atrocities. Most of these revolve around the act of slaying and cannibalizing other soldiers, due to the severe lack of food in Japan's wartime New Guinea campaign. Okuzaki is not above physical violence and doesn't fear the authorities; truth is all that matters to him. Kazuo Hara directs from the sidelines, without asking any questions or intruding, allowing Okuzaki to run the show. The late, great Shohei Imamura was a producer. Okuzaki passed away in 2005.

DVD Details: Facets Video released this great feature on DVD, though the only extra is a 12-page liner notes booklet.

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