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DEATH BY HANGING

Director: Nagisa Oshima

117 minutes| Japan| 1968| Subtitled| Black and White| 35mm


Nagisa Oshima was one of the most radical of post-WW2 directors. This 1968 masterpiece is a specifically Japanese attack on capital punishment and much else besides. It tells of a downtrodden young Korean man (known simply by the Kafkaesque initial ‘R’) who somehow survives the hangman’s noose after being sentenced to death for rape and murder. In the ensuing chaos, as the guards begin to re-enact R’s crimes to convince him of his guilt, Oshima mounts a highly stylised and blackly comic psychodrama designed to challenge one’s beliefs and ideals, be they moral, political or religious.nd fun.

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