Totsunyu Seyo! Asama Sanso Jiken (The Choice Of Hercules)

Don Brown the8thsamurai
Tue Jan 22 21:55:56 EST 2002

Sankei recently ran a promo piece on the new film from Harada Masato, 
"Totsunyu Seyo! Asama Sanso Jiken (English title: The Choice Of Hercules)". 
 Written and directed by Harada, director of "Bounce! Kogyaru", "Jubaku" 
and "Inugami", it's a dramatisation of the 1971 Asama Sanso incident, where 
five members of the Japanese Red Army holed themselves up in a mountain 
villa in Nagano prefecture with a solitary hostage and engaged in a gun 
battle with over 1600 police.  The actual event was broadcast live on 
Japanese television and rated a whopping 89.7%.  These events occurred 
after those featured in the recent "Hikari No Ame", where 12 members of the 
same group were killed by their own in a brutal internal purge.
  Produced by Hara Masato, the film stars Yakusho Koji, Uzaki Ryudo, Amami 
Yuki, Shina Kippei, Ibu Masato and Fujita Makoto.  Yakusho plays Sasa 
Atsuyuki, leader of the police's raid on Asama Sanso and author of the book 
that the film is based on.  Where "Hikari No Ame" focused on the internal 
politics of the Red Army radicals, this film appears to be more concerned 
with the policemen involved in the raid, especially Yakusho as Sasa, as 
they endeavour to fulfil their prime directive: free the hostage with no 
loss of life.         
  "When I read the book, I wanted to make it into a film right away.  The 
relationship between Japanese and their organisations is very well 
depicted.  I want to pose the questions: what is determination? What is 
courage?" said Harada at the production launch in November of last year. 
"The book makes some fascinating comments on 'Nihonjinron'.  I'm sure that 
this will become a fantastic entertainment film mixed with social 
  Filming began in Tokyo and on-location at Niigata in mid-November of last 
year and wrapped at the end of December.  It was shot with a Panasonic HD 
digital camera called a "Varicam", which can shoot at the same frame rate 
as a regular film camera and is equipped to handle regular film camera 
lenses.  The movie, a joint production between Toei, Asmik Ace, TBS, and 
Sankei Newspapers, will be completed in March, with a national release date 
set for May of this year.  
Sankei's feature (in Japanese) can be read at the address below:
Don Brown


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