Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Opinion: Yasukuni Doc Should be Leaked onto the Internet

Hi Blog,

Recently, it seems like every day-- multiple times of day, even-- when I hit my usual news sites and clear out my RSS reader, there are more and more articles about the whirlpool of controversy and bullshit engulfing Li Ying's YASUKUNI documentary.

I have to say, that those conservatives who are handicapping the release of this film and are stifling the very right to free speech and expression in Japan are in violation of the basic freedoms guaranteed under Article 21 of the Japanese consitution:
Article 21.Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.
(2) No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated. (Link.)
My anger surrounding this has everything to do with my belief that if the pro-censorship nationalists and conservatives win here, then I believe that Japan's constitution, and by proxy, the social freedoms it guarantees will be severely compromised.

But I have a simple solution to this problem. Argo pictures should just eat the loss and leak the film to the Internet-- once the genie's out of the bottle the enemies of this film can stew in it. I say, put it up on YouTube in sections; let people download it via Bittorrent; put it up on iTunes and charge for it! Hell, there's NO need to even do subtitles, let translators around the world do it for you.

The point is, the film can't be resigned to a traditional death and burial at the hands of those who have an agenda antithetical to the will of the country and the people. It's that simple. That's my unsolicited opinion.

Yet another link.


Anonymous said...

Good idea. At the moment, it seems like the only possible avenue for the general public to see the film in its entirety, or at all for that matter. I can't see Argo going for it, but Li should definitely consider doing so if the shrine and the sword maker succeed in disemboweling the doc.

Anonymous said...

if they leak it, they'd have to be quick... i'm all for knowing something exists, but this suddenly feels necessary but relentless... i'm all yaskuni'd out too, at least from a publicity, discusison perspective.

Nicholas Rucka said...

I guess here's the thing for me: a film has to recoup some of its money before the end of the day. I get that. But with the YASUKUNI doc, this is something that Li Ying has worked on for 10 years and it's not really getting a chance to be seen in Japan.

Regardless of how good, bad or problematic the film is, in the end, it was made to be seen. If it goes down because of protests then that's indeed a problem.

I was thinking that contrary to it being problematic business-wise for Argo, though, it could turn into a TROPA DE ELITE like phenomenon in Brazil. That was such a hit on the black market and in bootlegs that it actually increased its ultimate value. That I believe helped pave the way for its Golden Bear win at Berlin this year.

As a note: I was relieved to see that Argo is going ahead with its scant few screenings in Japan during the two weeks that Yasukuni has given Argo to reply to its demands to re-cut (excise the scenes they have issues with) the film.

It's a small gesture, but a good defiant one. But I still fear that they will lose in the end...