A positive review on CAMPAIGN is on Variety. Please check it out.
By DEREK ELLEY
First feature docu by Gotham-based filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda ("Freezing Sunlight") 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. One-man crew Soda follows a former Tokyo U. classmate who stands as an LDP "parachute" candidate in a crucial Kawasaki city council election in Oct. '05. Though it's a half-hour too long, the result is an insightful, ironic portrait of campaigning at street level that's fest- and cable-ready.
Kazuhiko Yamauchi's greatest asset is an ability to keep smiling in the face of public indifference and criticism from his support staff and (in a very polite way) party higher-ups. Sans any kind of political experience, he repeats the same meaningless phrases, puts up with wife Sayuri's private moans about being treated as an ornament and watches his own savings diminish as the campaign wears on. When LDP head Junichiro Koizumi visits to boost the campaign, Yamauchi hardly gets to say hello. HD tech credits are fine; a 60-minute version will be aired by Euro pubcasters in October and a 90-minute one by PBS next year.
Camera (color, HD), Soda. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 12, 2007. Japanese dialogue. Running time: 119 MIN.