RED ARMY/PFLP: DECLARATION OF WORLD WAR (sekigun-P.F.L.P: sekai senjo sengen) (1971 JAPAN) D: MASAO ADACHI D/P: KOJI WAKAMATSU
Announcing itself as propaganda, this narrated 69 min. documentary is a call to arms for the Japanese Communist Party to aide the fight for the liberation of Palestine (where most of this was filmed on 16mm.). "The best form of propaganda is armed struggle". For those of you thinking that this could be an alarmingly inciendary and irresponsible document, there`s no need to worry. Regardless of where you stand politically, this is a dull, mis-managed preach to the converted that gives casual viewers no context, no historical background and no engaging framework with which to interface. I thought it might at least be a fascinating time-capsule look at a more socially responsible and politically motivated time in Japan (Wakamatsu was known for his subversive sex movies back then), but it`s more of an embarassing display of misguided, naive pop-politic sloganeering that might have done more harm than good (if it had been well-made, and if anyone had actually seen it). Adachi (who scripted several films for Wakamatsu, and directed some of his own) seems to at least have been a genuine believer, he returned to the Middle East as a pro-Palestinian commando who was arrested in Lebanon in 1997, then deported back to Japan in 2000.
Wakamatsu continued to make mostly dismal, overrated (by Japanese cult movie enthusiasts) films (I`m yet to be convinced of this man`s genius. If i see enough good films from him that buck this trend, this paragraph will be deleted).
Incidentally, read Julian Cope`s great Japrocksampler book for more on the involvement of members of the incomparable psych-rock-improv band Les Rallizes Denudes with the Japanese Red Army, and the hijack of a Japan Air Lines passenger plane to North Korea in March 1970 (briefly mentioned at the beginning of this doc.).

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