Skip to main content

COUP D'ETAT

Japan, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida

This study of a fascist ideologue, Ikki Kita, has become a major commercial success in Japan. It comes from an outstanding modern director, Yoshida, who earlier made Eros and Massacre. Coup d'Etat follows the career of a right-wing revolutionary whose theories led to an army uprising in 1936. Ikki Kita wrote A Draft for Rebuilding Japan, in which he advocated a right-wing militaristic revolution in favour of the Emperor. His writings had enormous influence and contributed to a resurgence of Japanese militarism and her entry into the Second World War. But the uprising, in which a number of politicians were killed, was put down, and Ikki Kita was executed.

Yoshida recreates these events, through a fine script by Minoru Betsuyaku, and striking black and white photography by Motokichi Hasegawa. The opening, with a financial adviser to the government stabbed to death outside his home, is one of the film's few violent moments. Yoshida concentrates on exploring motives of the plotters and victims, and illustrating the ceremonial and mysterious mannerisms of his central character.

'Brooding pace, extraordinary black-and-white lensing and a continuing feeling of menace and intrigue imbue this tale of the political side of the Japan of the Thirties.'

Mosk, Variety

See also...

EROS PLUS MASSACRE

“A climactic, delirious, wall-busting murder fantasy.” - Village Voice ... Yoshishige Yoshida's exigent Eros Plus Massacre centres on anarchist Sakae Osugi, who was killed in the devastating wake ... More »

BELLADONNA

Belladonna is a full-length animation feature from the Japanese film maker, Eiichi Yamamoto. ... Two younq lovers. Jean and ... Jeanne, live in a small French farming village during the Middle Ages ... More »

THE WANDERERS

Set in nineteenth century Japan, The Wanderers has been likened in its theme to Easy Rider. It follows the adventures of three "toseinins', unemployed young men who roam the countryside, living off ... More »

THE IDIOT

Dostoevsky is Kurosawa's favourite author, and in Prince Myushikin, he admires the character's compassion and near godlike quality. ... In The Idiot, Prince Myushikin becomes a Japanese returning ... More »

BRAIN MONKEY SHORTS (package)

At the core of this program of Japanese shorts are the highlights, of Samurai Shorts the latest HD-cam wonders produced by Wataru Furuta (Burst the Earth, MIFF 2001) which are having their ... More »

Architecture and Gardens of Japan

A survey of the architecture of Japan from the Shrine of Ise in mythological times, through the Heian, Muromachi and Momoyama periods, to the intimate beauty of the Edo period. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director