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30 September 2018: Eros + Massacre


Eros + Massacre
Kiju Yoshida
1969 | 215 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

“One of the great late works of the Japanese New Wave, Yoshida’s enduring masterpiece offers an epic and extraordinary vision of unconventional desire as a potent yet ultimately untenable mode of political resistance. Confronting a dark moment in modern Japanese history, Eros + Massacre chronicles the final days of prominent feminist Noe Ito – beautifully portrayed by Mariko Okada – and her lover, the firebrand anarchist Sakae Osugu, leading up to their brutal assassination in 1923 by the military authorities. Yoshida brilliantly interweaves his lush evocation of the doomed revolutionaries’ intellectual and amorous adventures – and the intense love triangle that blossomed between Ito, Osugu and a spirited young woman journalist – with a moving portrait of the aimless love of two restless student radicals in 1960s Tokyo. Eros + Massacre’s increasingly fluid passage from tragic past to urgent present suggests how political rebellion is pulled by a deeper, almost mythic pattern forged by the imagination and desire shared by two generations of revolutionaries.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Kiju Yoshida