IDFA - Extremely Private Eros: Love Song 1974 + Doc Talk
Kazuo Hara and Miyuki Takada have been married three years when Takada leaves her husband. She’s a radical feminist and wants to liberate herself from traditional gender roles. As a form of therapy, filmmaker Kazuo Hara follows her with his camera. Using long shots in frequently claustrophobic rooms, he sometimes gets too close for comfort. Only the asynchronous audio recording creates some sense of distance.
Hara shows us Takada’s relationship with a woman, her affair with a black American soldier, her immersion in the nightclub life of Okinawa, and how she ultimately finds salvation in a women’s commune. His film is an emblematic document of the 1970s, one in which all taboos are broken—even the birth of Takada’s baby is in full view.
This is one of the first Japanese documentaries to focus on individuals rather than the collective. From Hara’s perspective, Takada seems to be engaged in a masochistic enterprise, but he brings his subject’s suffering to the screen with uncompromising directness. It’s not only about the struggle for individual freedom, but also about who has the right to tell its story.
Julian Ross, film programmer for a.o. IFFR, talks extensively with director Kazuo Hara about Extremely Private Eros: Love Song 1974 that IDFA shows as part of the focus programme Me.