Bruno & Bettina

(Bruno & Bettina)

Germany, 2018, 105 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles


Masao Adachi (b. 1939), the author and director of experimental and Pinku Eiga (pink films) in the 1960s, was a member of the Japanese New Left who shifted from being a filmmaker to a guerilla fighter. In 1974, he joined the Japanese Red Army in Lebanon, which worked closely with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Documentarist Lutz Dammbeck met Adachi in Tokyo in 2018 and talked with him about a wide range of topics, including art, revolution, the influence of western avant-garde art and American underground; the Japanese Red Army; collaboration with secret services; the role of the Left after 1968; and the reasons for failures of leftist ideas and strategies.


Masao Adachi is a well-known scriptwriter and director in Japan. After the Cannes Film Festival in 1971, he and his friend Koji Wakamatsu drove from France to Lebanon, where they worked on Red Army / PFLP: Declaration of World War, a documentary about the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Three years later, Adachi joined the Japanese Red Army, founded by Fusako Shigenobu, in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Adachi went underground with a new identity and fake passport and, for the next 23 years, lived at the center of an international network of radical left-wing revolutionary groups. In 1997, he was arrested and tried for passport violations and sentenced to four years in a Lebanese prison. After his release in 2000, he was deported to Japan, where he was arrested on other passport violations. After 18 months in prison there, he was tried, convicted and sentenced to time served. He resumed making films after a 30-year hiatus. Adachi lives with his Lebanese wife on the outskirts of Tokyo.



Oct 2019 Portland German Film Festival, Oregon, USA
Sept 2019 Anthology Film Archives, New York, USA


Press comments

“Art, revolution and terrorism—these are the topics that Lutz Dammbeck links in his new documentary.”  —Munich Film Museum


“This film paints a highly dramatic portrait of the Japanese Left, not least due to points of contact with German history after 1968.”  —


“This film offers a wealth of information about Japanese film, as well as recent Japanese and German history.”  —



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