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"A staggering majority of the Japanese people opposed the abolition of capital punishment, a statistic that Oshima clinically lectures on while touring a death chamber, forcing us to watch the austere step-by-step procedure of an execution. It plays like a sobering doc until the condemned man - known only by the Kafka-friendly initial 'R.' (a reference to the notorious case of Ri Chin'u, a Korean who murdered two Japanese girls in 1958) - survives the noose, then develops amnesia. Suddenly, the tone hops to absurd theatrical comedy (the gallows humor in Dr. Strangelove's war room now literal) as the guards begin dangerously re-enacting R.'s crimes to jog his memory - after all, killing a man who feels no guilt would be murder! Oshima is unsubtle in his critique of Japan's persecution of Koreans, and in his questioning of whether collectively imagining crimes, villains, or justifications can make them come true."

in japanese with english subtitles

NTSC region free

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