Canadian Premiere
Selection 2019

Dare To Stop Us

Directed by Kazuya Shiraishi


Official selection

Busan International Film Festival 2018, New York Asian Film Festival 2019


Kazuya Shiraishi


Junichi Inoue


Arata Iura, Mugi Kadowaki


Wakamatsu Production

Official website

Japan 2018 118 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre Drama

Spring, 1969. The Japanese New Wave, represented on international screens mainly by the films of Nagisa Oshima, reaches new heights. The young Megumi (Mugi Kadowaki) knocks on the doors of the studios of Wakamatsu Productions, and discovers a world of fanatics: Michio Akiyama (nicknamed "Spook"), Kazuo Komizu (who would become an important figure of the “extreme” cinema of the ’80s and ’90s with ENTRAILS OF A VIRGIN), Masao Adachi (AKA SERIAL KILLER, GUSHING PRAYER) and of course Koji Wakamatsu (played here by Arata Iura). The team is gearing up to make the transgressive pinkus (erotic films) with which they will forever mark the moment. At the head of the group, Wakamatsu will stop at nothing to enact his vision for Japanese cinema, and soon plunges his team, including Megumi, into a world of maniacal guerrilla filmmaking, in which the political power of cinema is confrontational, even cataclysmic — aiming to demolish all propriety!

Movie lovers, rejoice! Directed by Kazuya Shiraishi (BIRDS WITHOUT NAMES, THE BLOOD OF WOLVES), himself a former apprentice of Wakamatsu, DARE TO STOP US is the surprising and utterly unexpected biopic of a legend of Japanese counterculture cinema: Koji Wakamatsu (11/25 THE DAY MISHIMA CHOSE HIS OWN FATE, winner of the AQCC Prize at Fantasia 2012). And although riddled with delicious “cameos” (such as Oshima and Ajio Issoji discussing Ultraman!), it is more than just a lightweight hagiography. Here is a "slice of cinema" told from the point of view of one of the few women to have found their way in this most masculine industry (though at what price?), coupled with a fascinating snapshot of the period — a film that takes pulse of a cinematographic heritage in which sex, violence and provocation rubbed shoulders, while reflecting on works created and consumed in the fierce flames of revolution. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg