Friday, April 24, 2020

PFLP: Declaration Of World War (Masao Adachi & Kōji Wakamatsu, 1971)

On their way back from Cannes Film Festival in 1971, filmmakers Wakamatsu Koji and Adachi Masao visited Lebanon to meet the Japan's Red Army faction and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to shoot a propaganda newsreel film promoting the Palestinian resistance. Conceived as a ‘declaration of world war’ that implicates us all, the co-directors capture the everyday banality of military training and preparation exercises for imminent battle. The juxtaposition of the slow-paced ‘landscape theory’-infused style with the militant language of the declaration expresses the charged tension that revolutionary struggle brings about. Before leaving Japan to participate full-time in the Palestinian resistance, Adachi and his collaborators independently distributed the film across Japan on a Red Bus, bringing together cinema and revolution. -IFFR