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Why You Can’t Be Prime Minister

1h 59m Documentary, Politics 2020


A graduate of the University of Tokyo working comfortably as a government ministry bureaucrat, Junya Ogawa’s resignation and shift to running for political office in 2003 was a surprise for his friends and family in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. Pushing an expansion of social welfare as he fights for a seat in the Diet’s House of Representatives in the ensuing years, he’s caught in the splintering of opposition parties in a landscape dominated by the rightwing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Documenting the vicissitudes of Ogawa’s trajectory over a period of 17 years, Arata Oshima (the son of director Nagisa Oshima and actress Akiko Koyama) provides a rare unvarnished inside view of a politician’s life, raising important questions about the status of democracy in the contemporary moment.

“What is he missing? He is sincere and ambitious. Why is such a politician not rewarded? The world is in an unprecedented crisis. That is why the quality of politics is questioned. Now is the time to witness this movie and consider what politics should be after COVID-19, for this country and the world.” —Tatsuya Mori (i -Documentary of the Journalist-, JC 2020)

Streaming in the U.S. from August 20-September 2 as part of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film 2021

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Arata Oshima





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