Directed by Kazuo Hara • 1994 • Japan
Starring Mitsuharu Inoue, Hiroshi Noma, Jakuchô Setouchi
Kazuo Hara’s interest in iconoclastic figures living in opposition to mainstream society led him to begin work on A DEDICATED LIFE, an intimate, fly-on-the-wall portrait of the controversial writer Mitsuharu Inoue, a sometimes charming, sometimes combative, often frustrating novelist esteemed as one of postwar Japan’s literary lions. The project, however, soon spins off into unexpected directions, first when Inoue is diagnosed with terminal cancer, then when Hara begins to discover that the writer’s talents for fiction extend to his own life, the details of which he has been fabricating for decades. As the ailing author confronts his mortality and races to complete his final works, Hara begins digging into Inoue’s past in an attempt to separate the man from the myth, resulting in a unique, layered portrait of a complex figure whose very life was an extension of his art.