Barking Boxshot

Japan, 1987
Length / The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On: Blu-Ray (24fps): 121 minutes
DVD (25fps): 115 minutes
Length / Special features (Blu-ray): 67 mins
Length / Special features (DVD): 65 mins
Sound / Blu-Ray:
2.0 Mono LPCM (48khz/16-bit)
Sound / DVD: 2.0 Mono
Original aspect ratio: 1.55:1
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English

Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080 / 24fps / Region ABC
DVD: PAL / DVD9 / 25fps / Region 0
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
DVD RRP: £12.99

Release Date: 11 November 2019
Second Run DVD 128 / SRBD 026


Presented from a new director-approved HD remaster, Second Run present one of the most renowned, ground-breaking and inspirational documentaries of the past half-century.

Conceived by Shôhei Imamura, Kazuo Hara’s infamous and audacious documentary follows Kenzo Okuzaki, an ageing Japanese WW2 veteran, on a mission to uncover the truth about atrocities committed as the war in the Pacific reached its bloody end. Ultimately, Okuzaki blames Japan's Emperor Hirohito himself for these barbarities, and his obsessive pursuit of those he deems responsible soon escalates. Willing to confront the taboos of Japanese society in his fanatical quest for justice, Okuzaki is driven to unsettling acts of violence.

Harrowing and extraordinarily powerful, Hara’s film forces us to face the disturbing realities of war and, crucially, to question the complicity between filmmaker, subject and audience.

Our region-free Blu-ray and DVD editions also features a new interview with director Kazuo Hara, shot by the filmmaker especially for this release; the 2018 Open City Documentary Film Festival Masterclass with Hara and a booklet featuring writing by film historians Tony Rayns, Jason Wood and Abé Mark Nornes.

more about the film

Blonde Stills

Special Features

• Presented from a new HD remaster approved by director Kazuo Hara.

• An exclusive, newly filmed interview with Kazuo Hara.

• Kazuo Hara Masterclass: the director in conversation at the 2018 Open City Documentary Festival.

• 20-page booklet featuring writing on the film by Tony Rayns, Jason Wood and Abé Mark Nornes.

• New and improved English subtitle translation.

• World premiere release on Blu-ray.

• UK premiere release on DVD.

• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C) and DVD (Region '0') editions.

Related Titles

Directed and filmed by Kazuo Hara

Developed by Shôhei Imamura
Editor – Jun Nabeshima
Sound -Toyohiko Kuribayashi
Producer - Sachiko Kobayashi

Kenzo Okuzaki, Shizumi Okuzaki

Related Titles

Other acclaimed documentaries
are also availble on Second Run


1987 Berlin International Film Festival /
Caligari Film Award: Best Director
1987 Directors Guild of Japan / New Director Prize
1988 Mainichi Film Concours / Winner: Best Director
1988 Rotterdam International Film Festival / Winner: KNF Award
1988 Yokohama Film Festival / Winner: Best Film, Best Director

Selected in BFI/Sight & Sound's '50 Greatest Documentaries'

“I try to forcibly generate action with the camera. I try to wrench it into existence. With deliberate force” Kazuo Hara

“It was like I had this soul brother in Japan... I was inspired, I was exhilarated. I had never seen anything like this”
Michael Moore

“I first saw The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On at the San Francisco Film Festival. Werner Herzog and I were sitting together. We couldn’t believe it. Here was one of the weirdest, most dramatic stories ever. And the movie itself? What can I say? It’s on my list of the 10 best movies ever” Errol Morris

“A film that suggests that some truths are so unpalatable and buried that they need to be exploded out of the ground”
Mark Cousins

“A brave and radical documentary… The Emperor’s Naked Army is extremely moving and in the end deeply upsetting.
The picture is beautifully made, a truly controlled example of honest documentary at its best”

Donald Richie, San Francisco International Film Festival

“Jigsaw-like in construction, alleviated by mad wit, the film is unlike any other: rough, raw and sometimes surprisingly moving, it's absolutely compelling” Time Out

“Stands as one of the most harrowing, astonishing documentaries about war ever thrown onto celluloid”
Village Voice

“The most invigorating thing about The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is its consistent irreverence… It means to provoke and disturb - and let the devil take the hindmost” Vincent Canby, The New York Times

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