Can a candidate with no political experience win an election if he is backed by Prime Minister Koizumi and his Liberal Democratic Party? This cinema-verite documentary closely follows a heated election campaign in Kawasaki, Japan, revealing the true nature of “democracy”.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Mr. Soda uses tried-and-true fly-on-the-wall techniques to create a real-life satire. “Campaign” may invite a certain skepticism about democracy, but it will surely restore your faith in cinéma vérité.
Without giving too much away, this is a fantastic insight into Japanese politics. Yamauchi provides plenty to think about in terms of party, influence, and competency. I found the small insights into his personal life revealing, like a snapshot of a messy, tiny apartment or snippets of an argument with his wife.
It's not only because Australia just elected a further three years with a defiantly hateful right-wing administration that I failed to see the hopefulness that many others allude to in reviews. I will go so far as to say that Yamauchi comes across as rather pathetic. The campaigning is relentless & without the graceful moments of Soda's subsequent work; it adeptly shows that grassroots democracy looks depressing.
The man running the campaign is Kazuhiro Yamauchi, a young, naive aspiring politician who represents the ruling Liberal Democratic Party while using its many resources to conform to the rather odd campaigning rules that exist in the country. Mind you, he is no Ocasio-Cortez, but he is an odd, well-meaning guy who never fits in, a type just as important for our current zeitgeist because, well, aren’t we all?
Interesting and revealing surprising amount of small details about the Japanese daily life and especially politics (which, of course, connect). A brief glimpse into Yamauchi's micro-world vs the external reality. I wish more background information was provided about him - but it appears that this is in line with Kazuhiro Soda's style of presenting facts - more of an observation than a direct and obvious commentary.
As a documentary, it's fine enough, but as a political document, I'm less than convinced. It's so focused on the inner workings of political parties that it forgets actual politics, that is their impact on Japanese society, except for some small scenes on the margins. I feel like I know less about Japanese politics now, like the actually-conservative Liberal Democratic Party won a battle they could never lose.
(3.5) Aunque es un poco reiterativo, llama la atención que develen la ingenuidad de un candidato, que permitan las críticas de diversa índole, con una mirada desprejuiciada. La casi incapacidad de presentar propuestas concretas ante la sagacidad de aquellos políticos experimentados hace que, la imagen de ese personaje sea tan particular y valioso para un espectador que conoce poco de esa sociedad.