Mother, Photography, Reproduction: A Note on Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974

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Hara Kazuo’s seminal documentary film, Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974, actively disturbs presumed boundaries and, in so doing, foregrounds the centrality of performance in documentary filmmaking. While existing scholarship on this documentary focuses primarily on the moving images, in this essay I focus on a series of photographic images inserted in the beginning and examine the impact and workings of photography in the composition of this documentary. The opening photo-sequence proceeds to draw a narrative of the familial relationship existing in the past, facilitating our spectatorial understanding of the personal history of those who are involved in the making of this documentary. At the same time, the photography in the sequence casts its gaze upon us viewers, creating the sensation that we are the ones who are interrogated. As such, the photo-sequence calls on us, pushing us to form a personal relationship with what we see. I contend that the photography in this documentary film engenders a moment for a broader scale of reflection on our own precarity, irrelevance, and non-necessity in the world surrounding Extreme Private Eros.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalPhotography and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Extreme Private Eros
  • Photography
  • documentary
  • mother
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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