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Camera Obtrusa: The Action Documentaries of Kazuo Hara

June 06, 2019 – June 14, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

Errol Morris has called Kazuo Hara “one of the undiscovered geniuses of documentary,” and Michael Moore has called him “a soul brother in Japan.” As evidenced by this career-spanning retrospective, presented by Kazuo Hara himself as well as his wife and producer Sachiko Kobayashi, the filmmaker’s impact both on nonfiction cinema and on postwar Japanese society is far more profound than his relatively sparse body of work would suggest.

Hara’s most infamous work, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, about an aging Japanese veteran’s monomaniacal efforts to expose the war crimes of his commanders, cast a merciless light on long-denied and long-suppressed feelings of rage, guilt, and complicity, the kind of historical amnesia that continues to afflict Japan even today.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art. With thanks to Hisami Kuroiwa and Hiroshi Sunairi.

Support for the exhibition is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation and Steven Tisch, with major contributions from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), Yuval Brisker Charitable Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.


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The Emporer’s Naked Army Marches On. 1987. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy Kino International Corp./Photofest.

Zenshin Shosetsuka (A Dedicated Life). 1994. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy the filmmaker.

Kyokushiteki Erosu Koiuta 1974 (Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974). 1974. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy the filmmaker

Sayounara CP (Goodbye CP). 1972. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy the filmmaker

Mata no Hi no Chika (The Many Faces of Chika). 2005. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy the filmmaker

Nippon Asbest Village (Sennan Asbestos Disaster). 2017. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Courtesy the filmmaker