January 28, 2023
A decent enough drama, but My Back Page is a bit long in the tooth, and feels a bit safe for a film about the student protests. If you've seen a couple of Wakamatsu's films, you know stories like these deserve a slightly cruder edge. It's not a bad film, it's just that it doesn't quite line up with its subject matter.
Sawada is a spirited journalist who starts working for a small, left-leaning publication. When Sawada interviews Umeyama, a leader of the student uprising, he somehow doubts the claims of the man before him, but he is attracted to his personality. The two start hanging out together on a regular basis.
The performances are solid and the presentation is clean, though both are also a little on the safe side. The political situation of '69 has been covered many times before, My Back Page doesn't really add anything substantial, which is a little disappointing for a film that crosses the 2-hour mark. Still, there's enough quality there to keep things interesting.