Death by Hanging + The Educational System of an Empire (18*)

Japanese Avant-garde & Experimental Film Festival

blindfolded man standing behind a noose

In his usual fashion, Nagisa Oshima faces a derisive issue head on, making a farce out of a (still) ongoing human rights issue—capital punishment.

R is a Korean who has, ostensibly, committed a crime worthy of death. In a circling overhead shot, Oshima’s film captures the ‘house’ of death where inmates will drink their last tea and breathe their last breath. But after hanging for over 20 minutes, R’s body won’t accept death.

Pitting bureaucracy, ethics and spirituality against one another as the executioners debate re-hanging an already hanged man. Satire dressed in the trappings of high drama comforts us in the midst of such a taboo subject without diluting our shock and disgust.

Death by Hanging is paired with Hikaru Fujii’s The Educational System of an Empire where a group of young South Koreans are asked to re-enact the tyrannical actions of colonial Japan upon Korea.

Japan 1968 Dir Nagisa Oshima 118 min Digital presentation

Japan 2016 Dir Hikaru Fujii 21 min Digital presentation

Please note: this film contains scenes of simulated executions.

* = recommended classification

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