Q&A with Masa Sawada

“Sometimes I think, today is my turn.” Masa Sawada’s riveting new film (partially co-directed with Bertrand Bonello) is essentially a one-man show: the uninterrupted spoken testimony of Fujio Hayashi, a 90-year-old Japanese World War II veteran who led—and, against all odds, survived—the first squadron of kamikaze pilots. That he wasn’t meant to survive is one of several aspects that gives <em>I, Kamikaze its chilling force. Hayashi is a remarkably clear-eyed, critical observer, well-attuned to the logic of submission, sacrifice, and duty that emerges in a military system where the emperor is—for most of his subjects—a god.