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The Red Army / PFLP: Declaration of
 
 

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THE RED ARMY / PFLP: DECLARATION OF


Directed by | Masao Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu

Genre documentary  |  Length: 69mins  |  Year of production: 1971


This rarely seen work is a milestone in militant filmmaking and vital testimony to an era of global revolutionary beginnings. Renowned, and already “notorious”, Japanese filmmakers and activists Masao Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu stopped in Beirut on their return from the Cannes Film Festival in 1971. There, in collaboration with a newlyemerging Japanese Red Army (JRA) cadre and leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) including Ghassan Kanafani and Leila Khaled, they produced this newsreelstyle depiction of the everyday activities of Palestinian fighters so as to call for a worldwide Maoist revolution. The Red Army / PFLP Declaration of World War sometimes seems technically crude compared to Wakamatsu and Adachi’s larger oeuvre. But it is ultimately the film’s urgency and unashamed militancy that sets it apart from that betterknown work – in which the two had been compelled to circumnavigate the Japanese censor. This film does not flinch from its message. It offers a rare and tantalising window on a key chapter of collaboration between Japanese and Palestinian revolutionaries and filmmakers and remains striking testimony to the shared optimism and commitment of the PFLP and JRA’s young cadre.