Rikiya Shoda is an engineer working for the Atomic Agency in Japan after spending a few years studying at the MIT. He’s working on a new project involving the creation of laser beams. One day, his wife Nanako, comes back home with a lost teenager called Ayu. A man, who pretends to be Ayu’s father, come to get her back but Ayu keeps telling him that Rikiya and Nanako are her parents. With this girl entering their peaceful life, Rikiya suddenly begins to remember his youth, when he was a revolutionary.
Ostensibly, Heroic Purgatory is an examination of leftist politics in the years surrounding the renewal of the hugely controversial mutual security pact between Japan and America. However, it quickly disregards any kind of narrative sense as time periods blur so finely as to leave us with no objective “now” to belong to and characters switch identities with no warning or discernible reason. Yoshida is not really after objective truth here – there is no truth in cinema, film lies repeatedly until it finally exposes the truth. – Art Theater Guild
Part of our continuing Art Theatre Guild series.
The Art Theatre Guild, was an independent film company that radically transformed Japanese cinema by producing and distributing experimental, transgressive, and genre-shattering films from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s. Free from the structures and conventions of the mainstream Japanese studio system, the underground cinema of the Art Theatre Guild was characterized by its provocative depictions of sex, violence, politics, and social upheaval. The ATG also provided a fresh testing ground for collaboration among filmmakers, composers, dancers, novelists, artists, performance artists, and avant-garde theater companies.
- 6/6 | 8:00PM