Senkyo 2 / 選挙2
Kazuhiro Soda hit the documentary scene strong in 2007 with Campaign, a film that followed unwitting and inexperienced political candidate, Kazuhiko “Yama-san” Yamauchi, on the campaign trail in Kawasaki. Soda’s observational fly-on-the-wall style allowed everybody involved to lay bare the hypocrisy and banality of Japanese politics. Yamuchi went on the campaign trail again and Soda was ready to catch it on video again. Since his first outing with Yamauchi, Soda’s become his buddy – and a bit of a partner in crime. Not much new ground is tread in Campaign 2, though there are several deliciously funny scenes with Yamuchi going on his rounds and of his many competitors standing outside of stations, mouthing platitudes on their bullhorns. What is different is Soda, still behind the camera, becomes more of an active participant and catalyst in several scenes. But it’s Yamauchi’s pint-sized son who steals the show. With his antics and childish desires he makes the ultimate comment on the silliness of the campaign season, largely by ignoring it. I’m looking forward to Yamauchi’s next run.
Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2013.