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94 minutes · 2013
These two short works may be the least revelatory of Shohei Imamura's TV documentaries, but they still display his cutting wit and gift for casual observation. In The Pirates of Bubuan (1972, 46 min.), Imamura reports on impoverished people living on remote islands in the Philippines. Enamored of the subjects for having avoided the reach of Japanese imperialism in the early 20th century, the director becomes disillusioned when he realizes their pecking order is no less rigid than Japan's. In Outlaw-Matsu Comes Home (1973, 48 min.), Imamura follows one of the imperial soldiers he documented in In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers in Thailand (1971) on his first visit to Japan in 33 years. His uneasy reunion with family and friends becomes a metaphor for postwar Japan's reluctance to confront its imperial past. In Japanese with subtitles.

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