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”.
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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.
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?
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.
(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.
Imo, Campaign is best understood if seen closely to Campaign 2. Together, they appear as a masterful character study showing the evolution of a simple man's idea of politics and society, as well as the conservationism and degeneration (or secularization) of democratic systems. Yamauchi is a sort of prototype, the naive man whose conscience awakens from the turbid dream of a doomed society.
Apologies in advanced for referencing a US television show, but this was like a Veep season, except more intriguing since it is real life. I am so curious that there’s Campaign 2, excited and further intrigued by what it may contain.