Death by Hanging | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Death by Hanging 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

One of Nagisa Oshima's very best, this Japanese feature from 1968 is concerned with the death penalty and the public's understanding of a rape and murder committed by a Korean youth. The inventive staging is not merely dazzling but purposeful: a group of Japanese officials discovers, through a fantasy conceit, that the Korean prisoner refuses to die because the issues of his crime and his punishments aren't understood, and the film works through a series of imaginative reconstructions of the events leading up to the rape and murder. (The issue of Japanese persecution of Koreans is also pertinent to the proceedings.) The results are Brechtian in the best sense: entertaining, instructive, gripping, mind-boggling, often humorous, and very much alive. In Japanese with subtitles. 117 min. a Tue 5/22, 7 PM, Univ. of Chicago Doc Films.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Tempel Lipizzans Tempel Farms
June 19
Performing Arts
20,000 Leagues Under the Seas Lookingglass Theatre Company
June 06

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories