The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

  • Documentary
  • 2h 2m
  • 1987

In their best-known and most highly regarded film, Kazuo Hara and Sachiko Kobayashi follow Kenzo Okuzaki—a 62-year-old veteran notorious for slinging pachinko balls at the Japanese emperor—on his single-minded campaign to denounce imperialism and expose the truth about war atrocities committed by Japanese officers in New Guinea in 1945 by any means necessary. Consistently recognized as a masterpiece of nonfiction cinema—and a favorite of both Michael Moore and Errol Morris—The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On peels back deeply disturbing aspects of Japanese history in order to provocatively evoke multi-faceted considerations of retribution, ethics and the nature of evil. A must-see.

“Kazuo Hara is one of the undiscovered geniuses of documentary. I first saw The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On at the San Francisco Film Festival. Werner Herzog and I were sitting together. We couldn’t believe it. Here was one of the weirdest, most dramatic stories ever. And the movie itself? What can I say? It’s on my list of the 10 best movies ever. You have all these layers: the underlying historical reality, the obsessed and crazed Mr. Okuzaki pursuing that historical reality despite all odds, and the obsessed and quite possibly crazed filmmaker pursuing Mr. Okuzaki.” —Errol Morris

  • Best New Director, Directors Guild of Japan
  • Best New Director, Directors Guild of Japan
  • Caligari Film Award, Berlin International Film Festival
  • Best Film, Japan Film Pen Club
  • Best Director & Best Film, Mainichi Film Concours

Streaming in the U.S. from June 4-July 2 as part of Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara & Sachiko Kobayashi


Kazuo Hara





You may also like

Goodbye CP (1972)
  • Documentary
  • 1h 22m
  • 1972
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (1974)
  • Documentary
  • 1h 38m
  • 1974
A Dedicated Life (1994)
  • Documentary
  • 2h 37m
  • 1994
The Many Faces of Chika (2005)
  • Drama
  • 1h 54m
  • 2005
Sennan Asbestos Disaster (2017)
  • Documentary
  • 3h 35m
  • 2017
Reiwa Uprising (2019)
  • Documentary, Political
  • 4h 10m
  • 2019
  • 3 films