Chi Wa Taiyô Yori Akai
1966 / 81m - Japan
Akamoru: The Dark, Wild Yearning poster


February 13, 2021


Early Wakamatsu, though with Wakamatsu that doesn't necessarily mean it's one of his first films. Merely three years into his career he already had 20+ films under his belt. Even so, it's obvious that Wakamatsu was still trying to find his style here. Many of his signature elements are already present, but the film still lacks what would set his more notable work apart.

The topic at least is vintage Wakamatsu. The film follows a high school student prepping for his exams. When he looks at the world that he's about to join, including its many social inequities, he's anything but excited. Malcontent with the future that lies ahead of him, he decides to take revenge on the adults.

Activism in other words. Some youthful revolt, a little nudity, stylish black and white cinematography with a splash of color and a jazzy soundtrack. But the film lacks that rawer edge that made Wakamatsu's best work stand out. Also, after 30+ Wakamatsu films, it does start to feel a bit repetitive, seeing the same subject handled over and over again. But for fans of his works, definitely worth seeking out.