Saturday, July 13, 2013

Meeting Issei Sagawa with VICE

In this video, VICE meets with Japanese cannibal Issei Sagawa. Sagawa shot a young Dutch student in Paris, 1981, and then proceeded to eat her remains. He was caught, sent back to Japan, but never punished for his crime on grounds of insanity. While the act is heinous, the mini-doc focuses mostly on Sagawa’s life in the aftermath of his transgressions. He tells his story, and you can discern the conflict raging within this individual. My favorite moment, which comes in the second part of the doc, is when a young porn actress is told of Sagawa’s past after spending a day having sex with him. She states: “I understand he is full of insecurities,” and “I think it’s selfish to let his fantasies grow so wild.” This last statement is most interesting because it begs the question of how this man is supposed to prevent his desires from overtaking him, the implication being that others could be harmed otherwise. This young women actually begins a friendship with Sagawa, which leads to some progress in the fight against his illness(?). As she says, “He’s lacking something…” and I suppose she wanted to help him find that part of himself that could possibly remedy his most grotesque urges and painful existence. As Sagawa concludes, “I don’t even know who I am…nor the meaning of my life.” This is a standard human condition, I think, and examining this particular instance and situation, with its tragic and gruesome consequences, is revealing. See for yourself.


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