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God Speed You! Black Emperor

Director:  Mitsuo Yanagimachi
Year Released:  1976
Rating:  2.5

Offbeat look at a Japanese motorcycle gang called the "Black Emperors," their battles with other gangs, their defiling public property and the in fighting between group members. The view of the gang is mostly superficial - it fails to elaborate on what the group 'stands for' and never addresses (or chooses to ignore) what I interpret as a neo-fascist agenda (for example, the Black Emperors use the swastika as a symbol) - and Yanagimachi does not interfere with the group in any way, passively observing their sometimes hard-to-follow and rambling discussions and arguments. As a portrait of youthful alienation and outsiders bonding, however, it is - in its own way - timeless.

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