The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

Director: Kazuo Hara
Year Released: 1987
Rating: 3.5

A real-life Rashomon: former soldier and street-corner madman Kenzo Okuzaki goes throughout Japan, interviewing - and more often than not using strong-arm tactics against - ex-officers in charge of a regiment in West New Guinea during World War II and the unjust executions of innocent soldiers ... and naturally all of them give different stories as to what happened. Naturally, you could look at Okuzaki as a despicable, stubborn, shameless man who beats up on fellow aging men who would rather just let the past stay mostly forgotten; you could also see him as being emblematic of the only way to get the truth out to the masses: through brazen confidence, unbending resolve and shameless self-promotion. He's a rebel, a failure and a hero who stands for his fallen comrades who died unjustly. Despite its sometimes patchwork construction, this is a great documentary.