Naked Youth 0+

(Seishu zankoku monogatari), Nagisa Osníma, Japonsko 1960, 99 min

Iconoclastic filmmaker Oshima’s second film was to the Japanese what Godard’s Breathless was to the French. This visually dynamic and unsentimental break with the earlier tradition of domestic cinematography paints the story of young Kiyoshi and a student named Makoto, when what was originally a good deed turns into the very opposite. An elderly driver plans to take advantage of Makoto when hitchhiking and takes her somewhere she did not want to go. She is saved from her aggressor by Kiyoshi, who scares him so much that he even gives up his money to save himself from further pursuit. Makoto falls in love with her protector, but her idol himself proves to be an emotional cripple who doesn’t think twice about coercing his lover out of destitution in order to make a living for them both: Makoto is forced into the cars of affluent drivers and as soon as their interest in the flirtatious hitchhiker crosses the line of decency, Kiyoshi, trailing them all the while on a motorcycle, intervenes. The lovers then demand financial compensation for not reporting the harassment… The love story suddenly becomes a tale of emotional frustration and abuse, the boyfriend becomes the pimp, the girlfriend becomes the victim... (source: catalogue Karlovy Vary IFF)

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