Kazuo Hara follows Sennan Asbestos Disaster with another epic project involving groups of ordinary citizens who band together to address injustice in contemporary Japan. Taking the newly instated calendar era name Reiwa (“beautiful harmony”), actor-turned-politician Taro Yamamoto (Battle Royale) formed the Reiwa Shinsengumi (“new squad”) party just three months before the July 2019 Japanese House of Councillors election, offering an ambitious leftist platform and staging jubilant political demonstrations with music and horses. Hara follows the party’s diverse slate of candidates including transgender Tokyo University professor Ayumi Yasutomi and disabled politicians Yasuhiko Funago and Eiko Kimura as they interrupt rightwing status quo and widespread political apathy. A project proposed to Hara by Yasutomi in the lead-up to her unprecedented political campaign, Reiwa Uprising is the first and only project completed by Hara without his partner Sachiko Kobayashi.
“A thorough record for posterity as well as a compass for radical political change. The road to democracy is paved with uncertainty, and Hara tries to record every shock to the system.” —Hyperallergic
Streaming in the U.S. from June 4-July 2 as part of Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara & Sachiko Kobayashi | Also available in the U.S. as a part of our discounted 3-Film Bundle 2 for $20