Naeem Mohaiemen, <i> United Red Army (The Young Man Was…, Part 1) </i>, 2012. Courtesy the artist

Tracing the Anabasis of the Japanese Red Army

Fri 11 – Sun 13 March 2016

Travelling across three decades and between the Middle East and Asia, this weekend connects threads between three artists through the 1970s ultra-left and the political and personal epic of the Japanese Red Army (JRA).

The highlight of this weekend is a special screening and discussion around NAEEM MOHAIEMEN’S film THE UNITED RED ARMY (THE YOUNG MAN WAS…, PART 1). On September 28th 1977, the Japanese Red Army hijacked Japan Airlines 472 to Dhaka. The film covers six tense days of negotiations between hostage negotiator Air Vice-Marshal (retd.) A.G. Mahmud and lead hijacker (codename Dankesu). This screening is followed by the first encounter between A.G. Mahmud and one of the hostages, Hollywood actress Carole Wells, since 1977. Moderated by artist Michikazu Matsune.

A.G. Mahmud served in the Pakistan Air Force and became the youngest Air Force chief of newly independent Bangladesh, after the previous chief died in a plane crash. He resigned from the air force soon after the conclusion of the 1977 hostage negotiation. Carole Wells is an actress, singer and writer based in Los Angeles. Her last major film role was Funny Lady with Barbara Streisand prior to the 1977 hijack.

We are also joined by May Shigenobu, daughter of JRA leader Fusako Shigenobu, who spent her childhood in hiding in Beirut at the same time cult Japanese director Masao Adachi was there making films committed to the Palestinian cause. This thirty-year personal trajectory between Tokyo and Beirut is recounted in ERIC BAUDELAIRE’S films THE ANABASIS OF MAY AND FUSAKO SHIGENOBU, MASAO ADACHI AND 26 YEARS WITHOUT IMAGES and THE UGLY ONE.

Films by cult Japanese director MASAO ADACHI define his radical Marxist theory of fûkeiron; that the landscape around us expresses dominant political power. Decades spent underground in Lebanon led him to making work with the JRA and in support of Palestine. We are showing two of his films AKA: SERIAL KILLER, considered a landmark in political filmmaking, and RED ARMY/PLFP: DECLARATION OF WORLD WAR, a newsreel propaganda film in support of Palestine resistance.

A Film Pass is available with special discounted tickets for all the weekend screenings, direct from Tyneside Cinema.

Further information about the weekend here.