Close Up

22 September 2018: Forest of Oppression


Forest of Oppression
Shinsuke Ogawa
1967 | 105 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

Shinsuke Ogawa’s astonishing documentary takes the audience behind the barricades and into the heat of running battles with riot police in this chronicle of the student occupation movement in 1967 Japan at the Takasaki City University of Economics.

Perhaps the greatest chronicler of the student movement in Japan, Ogawa would live among his subjects, his camera moving among them. This raw and immediate filmmaking style presents a grounds-eye view of the struggle, often capturing clashes with riot police in the thick of the action. The boundary between filmmaker and subject is increasingly eroded, mirroring Ogawa’s unwavering faith of the power of collective action and living – the Ogawa Pro filming collective itself was run on socialist principles, with members voting of production decisions.

Introduced by Ricardo Matos Cabo, an independent film programmer and researcher, who will give a short illustrated presentation about the first collective films made by Shinsuke Ogawa and talk about the student movement in Japan in the 1960s.

Screening as part of JAEFF: Youthquake

Digital print courtesy of Athénée Français Cultural Center. Organised by the Japanese Avant-Garde and Experimental Film Festival in partnership with the Japan Foundation