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DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
by Kazuhiro Soda

I don't think of CAMPAIGN (SENKYO) as a political piece, though 
politics is its subject matter. Rather, it is what I call "an 
observational film" in which the viewer is expected to perceive and 
interpret the complex, difficult-to-articulate reality of an election 
campaign run by the Liberal Democratic Party, the party that has held 
power in Japan for the last 50 years.

Most documentary filmmakers conduct extensive research on their 
subjects and to write detailed scripts and treatments before they 
begin shooting. The scripts are often written to persuade members of 
the production team—executive  producers, staff members, and 
investors—that the movie is interesting and  worth producing, both 
artistically and financially.

In making CAMPAIGN (SENKYO) I broke with this tradition. I made a 
conscious decision not to write a word before shooting. I was 
determined to record whatever took place in front of me and to avoid 
research and pre-shoot meetings with the subjects. This wasn't 
because I was lazy. It was because I wanted to be true to my 
philosophy of documentary filmmaking, that a filmmaker should 
minimize preconceived ideas and should simply learn from the crude 
reality captured on camera. This strategy was a luxury made possible 
by the fact that this was a self-financed one-man operation; I both 
operated the camera and recorded sound simultaneously. As a result, 
the shoot was one of the most thrilling ones I've ever had, full of 
eye-opening experiences.

In the editing room as well I chose the most naturalistic path. I 
constructed the cinematic reality using only moving pictures and 
sounds recorded during the shoot. I did not use any narration, super-
imposed information, computer graphics, special effects, or music. 
This is because I wanted the viewers to observe and experience the 
election campaign as directly as I did while I was shooting it.

CAMPAIGN (SENKYO) asks viewers to observe and think about what they 
see on screen. In this sense, reality is not painted in black and 
white. Instead it is gray and complicated, the way we experience it 
every day. I hope that viewers will leave the theatre with unanswered 
questions, ones they will continue to think about for days, weeks, 
even years to come.

DIRECTOR'S BIO


       
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