The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On ★★★★½

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To explain everything that works about The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On is a disservice to its importance. Similarly to Tickled, it's a film that I stress going in blind to the point where I refuse to give any details about the sequence of events. However, this film is an even greater descent into a calamitous investigation that a viewer can only believe by witnessing it. Nevertheless, what makes this even more insane to watch is Kenzo Okuzaki's methods as a seeker of truth and justice. Rather than sticking to the basic ethics of documenting, Okuzaki goes the extra mile to seek the truth.

Not only does the extent of Okuzaki's means for finding the truth leave room to discuss how far documentaries are allowed to go to find the answers, but the deep-rooted denial in Japan's culture toward World War II. Not only is it unsettling that the only chance Okuzaki had to uncover the truth was through morally questionable means, but it's an issue that extends beyond the reach of this documentary. Since this documentary, we've seen other historians expose hidden events regarding Japan's involvement in World War Ii such as Iris Chang, which I highly recommend reading this article; if you don't have plans to read the book she wrote, that is. Either way, prepare to be outraged.

The best way to describe The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On is it being an anti-war film without any efforts of being a historical documentary. It's something more sinister than that; it's a documentary that shows the damaged psychés of those involved either desperately reaching for answers or desperately trying to discard the truth. Outside of these vague hints toward what's to come, there's nothing else I feel comfortable explaining about this film. It's available to watch on YouTube for free, so experiencing what I refuse to spoil lies in your hands. Be prepared.