by Chris MaGee
Now that Third Window Films has begun distributing the police epic "Confessions of a Dog" on UK Region 2 DVD the work of its director, Gen Takahashi, may finally get the attention it so richly deserves. It will also hopefully help raise the profile of new work by the 46-year-old director. Case in point, a new documentary that Takahashi has just completed, a film, like "Confessions of a Dog", that highlights the efforts of an outsider against the Japanese system.
"Anti-Hero" chronicles the life and work of Shinichi Takehara, the former mayor of the coastal town of Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture. Takehara, a former member of Japan's Self Defense Forces, ran afoul of the prefectural government when he appointed Toshiro Semba as Akune's deputy mayor without gaining the approval of the city assembly. Takehara also ended up hiring three members of the city's Education Committee without approval and at one point locked himself in the city's council chambers, and locking out his detractors. Before you say, "This isn't a very sympathetic subject for a documentary," consider that Takehara has also made it a mission to expose the back room dealings that would see local politicians giving themselves huge salary increases and perks. Definitely an anti-hero.
"Anti-Hero" isn't set for release in Japan until next year, but you can check out the trailer that has been cut together by Takahashi and his production company Grand Café Pictures below.