The Young Man Was (Part 1: United Red Army) (2011, Bangladesh)

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Director: Naeem Mohaiemen | 70 minutes | Bangladesh | 2011 | Language: (Subtitled) English, Japanese, Bengali | About Bangladesh and Japan


“A series of photography installations in museums since 2006, and now a projected film trilogy that traces 1970s ultra left movements’ turn to violence, which became an “accidental Trojan horse”, creating blowback through the rise of right-wing political forces.

Part one of the trilogy is based on the negotiations over the 1977 JAL hijack, between the Japanese Red Army members on board the plane, and Dhaka control tower.” (Written by Naeem Mohaiemen)

“The 1977 hijacking of a Japanese airliner is evoked through a series of transcripts revealing a riveting exchange of threats, accusations and surprising courtesies between the United Red Army, a Japanese left-wing terrorist group, and the Bangladeshi military government.

“The first installment in a film trilogy that traces a history of 1970s ultra-left terrorist groups, Part 1 looks at the 1977 hijacking of flight JAL 472 by the Japanese Red Army and their landing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Filmmaker Naeem Mohaiemen remembers missing his favourite TV spy show for pre-emptive live coverage of the hostage-taking. Relying almost entirely on radio transmissions between the airport tower and the hijackers, the film displays the interactions as on-screen text. The tension and drama that builds from the clipped verbal exchanges speaks volumes, escalating from polite courtesy to mortal threat. Part 1 is an experimental suspense story that relies on the sound of disembodied voices to convey the negotiations and tenuous alliance between the Japanese Red Army’s rogue rebels and the Bangladeshi military government. Angie Driscoll (Hot Docs 2012)


Director: Naeem Mohaiemen

Producer: Naeem Mohaiemen

Writer: Naeem Mohaiemen

Editor: Naeem Mohaiemen

Composer: Kaffe Matthews


Hot Docs 2012 (World Premiere, Program: World Showcase)


Official film website

IMDB page


. Interview with Naeem MOHAIEMEN by Ursula Bieman (29/3/12)

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