Cert: PG Year: 2005 Length: 114 mins Language: Subtitled
After Sokurovs' films on Stalin (Moloch) and Hitler (Taurus) comes this character study of the Emperor Hirohito in the wake of World War 2. Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito is summoned to make a humiliating account of himself to an angry, contemptuous General Douglas MacArthur. Like two alien species they regard each other, as the Emperor struggles to an unthinkable decision - to renounce the divinity accorded his position, and become a man. The scratched, grainy look, murmuring unfocused soundtrack and dark photography painfully evoke the apocalyptic atmosphere of post- nuclear Japan like a pungent sepia science fiction movie.
as a portrait of pathology - that of Japan and of Hirohito both - it’s terrific
Manolha Dargis, The New York Times
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