Masao Adachi

Masao Adachi

Actor, Director, Writer


Masao Adachi (1939-2020) was a Japanese film director, writer, and actor. He was a major influence on the Japanese New Wave of cinema, and his films often dealt with political topics.

Adachi was born in Tokyo in 1939. He studied at Keio University, where he met filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, who would later become a major influence on his work. After graduating, Adachi worked as an assistant director for Oshima and was deeply involved in the making of Oshima's 1961 film, Cruel Story of Youth.

Adachi made his directorial debut with the experimental short film, A.K.A. Serial Killer (1968). The film follows the story of a group of young activists who are protesting against the Vietnam War. It was a critical success and Adachi continued to make politically-charged films throughout his career.

In 1974, Adachi wrote and directed his first feature-length film, Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War. The film tells the story of Japanese Red Army members who join forces with the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the Middle East. It was a controversial film at the time, but it was also well-received by critics and won several awards.

Adachi continued to make politically-charged films, including the 1978 film Black Test Car, which follows the story of a young man who is imprisoned for his involvement in leftist activities, and the 1985 film Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita (The Cherry Blossom Front), which tells the story of a group of Japanese students who fight in the Chinese civil war.

Adachi's later films tended to be more personal in nature, such as the 1991 film, The Story of a Prostitute, which follows the story of a Japanese woman who is forced into prostitution during World War II. Adachi's last film, The Man Who Stole the Sun (1999), tells the story of a man who attempts to build an atomic bomb in order to gain revenge on the Japanese government.

Adachi's films have been critically acclaimed throughout his career and he has been honored with many awards, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for The Man Who Stole the Sun. Adachi passed away in 2020 at the age of 81.

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