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PBS Premiere: July 29, 2008


This is democracy — Japanese style. Campaign provides a startling insider's view of Japanese electoral politics in this portrait of a man plucked from obscurity by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to run for a critical seat on a suburban city council. Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi's LDP handlers are unconcerned that he has zero political experience, no charisma, no supporters and no time to prepare. What he does have is the institutional power of Japan's modern version of Tammany Hall pushing him forward. Yama-san allows his life to be turned upside down as he pursues the rituals of Japanese electioneering — with both tragic and comic results. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). (53 minutes)

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TAGS: asian, democracy, election, japan, politics, voting

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Film Information

Campaign (60 min.)

Premiere Date: July 29, 2008

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Kazuhiro Soda Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Fact Sheet | Critical Acclaim | Press Release


Kazuhiro Soda
Kazuhiro Soda

When I was shooting Campaign I wanted to be as invisible as possible. I wanted to be a fly on the wall.”

— Kazuhiro Soda, Filmmaker


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Critical Acclaim

Campaign may invite a certain skepticism about democracy, but it will surely restore your faith in cinema vérité.”

&mdash A.O. Scott
The New York Times

First feature docu by Gotham-based filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda is a wry, fly-on-the-wall look at local politics, Japanese style — and in particular, the mighty machine of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The result is an insightful, ironic portrait of campaigning at street level.”

&mdash Derek Elley

Upcoming Films

A Co-Presentation of

Logo: CAAM