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Masao Adachi
Yûheisha - terorisuto
Japan 2007 / 113’
subtitles: Polish and English
Opera About Poland The Trial. The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

Prisoner/Terrorist is a cinematic hallucination, a prisoner's inner monologue filled with clashing emotions: anguish and pride, pangs of guilt and a belief in the righteousness of his actions, longing for freedom and the feeling that true liberation can also be found in confinement. The judges and jury in his dispute with himself are famous revolutionaries who visit him in his cell. With references to the story of Kozo Okamoto, a member of the Japanese Red Army and one of the perpetrators of the massacre at Tel Aviv Airport in 1972 (killing 26 people), Masao Adachi steps back and examines his own fate and radical choices from a certain distance. Made more than 30 years later (the director joined the Japanese Red Army and went to Beirut in 1974), the film shows that the spirit of protest remains close to Adachi's heart. Prisoner/Terrorist is an attack on bourgeois cinema and classic narration. By making viewers hostages to his uncompromising artistic vision, the Japanese director asks important questions about radicalism in politics and art.

Małgorzata Sadowska


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Masao Adachi

Masao Adachi is a poet, revolutionary, avant-garde director, cinema theorist, and artistic terrorist. One of the most original directors of the 20th century, he once asked: Instead of replacing [the] camera with a rifle, why not have one in each hand? As a participant in student protests and a member of the film underground, he tried to make cinema a tool for political reflection from the very beginning. Along with Koji Wakamatsu, he also made political pink films. He abandoned filmmaking soon after making the pro-Palestinian Red Army/PLFP: Declaration of World War (1971), joined the ranks of the Japanese Red Army (a recognized terrorist organization), and left for Lebanon. Deported (for having an invalid passport) back to Japan after 28 years, he was arrested and is still not allowed to leave the country. Prisoner/Terrorist, his first film after three decades of silence, is a commentary on the life of a cinematic revolutionary.

Selected filmography

1967 Gingakei / Galaxy

1968 Siyûgi / Sex Play

1969 Jogakusei gerira / High School Guerrilla

1971 Tryskająca modlitwa: Piętnastoletnia prostytutka / Funshutsu kigan: 15-sai baishunfu / Gushing Prayer: 15 Year Old Prostitute

1971 Sekigun-PFLP: Sekai senso sengen / Red Army – PFLP: Declaration of World War

2007 Więzień/Terroerysta / Yûheisha - terorisuto / Prisoner/Terrorist

Cast & Crew

director Masao Adachi
screenplay Masao Adachi
cinematography Yûichi Nagata
editing Yuji Oshige
music Yoshihide Ôtomo
cast Tomorô Taguchi, Panta, Taka Ôkubo, Jôji Kajiwara, Keiko Oginome
producer Michio Koshikawa, Naruhiko Onozawa
production The Klockworx, Kogensha, Office Fine, Slow Learner
sales Adachi Masao Screening Committee
language Japanese
colouration colour