The first film about politics that I remember seeing was The Candidate, in which Robert Redford starred as an idealist faced with the compromises of a Senatorial campaign. In the 35 years since that film's release, political features have been few and far between, but documentaries about politics -- campaigns, candidates and hot-button issues -- have become much more common, not only in the US but also in other lands.

The independent Japanese documentary Campaign had its Word Premiere at Berlin this year, then played at South by Southwest and other key festivals (Hong Kong, Hot Docs, Buenos Aires) before opening theatrically in Japan last month. Mark Schilling of The Japan Times called it "a funny and revealing cinema verite look at Japanese democracy in action," and now Midnight Eye has published an interview conducted by Jason Gray with director Kazuhiro Soda. The filmmaker recognizes his responsibility to promote the film like, well, a politician: "It is a campaign for Campaign ... It's up to me, nobody else ... unless I do a lot of hard work nobody will recognize it. Until a certain point I need to push hard, and then after a certain point maybe it'll take on its own life."