February 26th, 2012: Kenka Erejî aka The Fighting Elegy aka The Born Fighter

Cast and Crew:  Takashi Suzuki (Novel)

What It’s About: In 1930s Japan, high school student Kiroku (Hideki Takahashi) becomes involved with paramilitary street gangs and their battles as an outlet for his frustration stemming from his secret love for Michiko (Junko Asano), the daughter of the Catholic family he boards with.

Why Watch it Today?: Seijun Suzuki’s startling tale of high school thugs and sexual frustration ends with Kiroku hearing news of the February 26th Incident, in which a group of young radical Army officers, inspired by the writings of Japanese Fascist Ikki Kita, led 1,400 troops under their command to attack the Prime Minister’s residence and other buildings in Tokyo.  Kiroku and his friends react to the coup with great cheers, and rush to join in, ending the film and Seijun’s commentary on the era in Japanese history and its embrace of militarism.

Where to Get ItLibraries, Netflix (rental only), Hulu Plus

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