Eric Baudelaire’s “The Anabasis & The Ugly One”
              Adam Kleinman
              Inverting the specters of progress in his 2005 Le Siècle, Alain Badiou revisited the decade-long about-face of a Greek mercenary force that successfully fought its way home from a failed, early-fourth-century incursion in Persia. He did this as a means of determining where a sequacious political left stands today, and towards which it should, or could, move in the turmoil of apparently lost or fragmented causes. Awareness of this infamous military campaign of ancient Greece—and its internal political make-up as a mobile, democratic collective in retreat—reaches us today by way of Xenophon (c. 430–354 BC), a soldier and writer among its ranks who mediated the wayward expedition in his multi-volume work, Anabasis. With more than a wink to Badiou—and to poet Paul Celan, who marshaled the anabasis as a symbol of a lived caesura—artist Eric Baudelaire has intertwined two recent personal and revolutionary narratives in his film The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shingenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011). Reflecting on a number of stalled revolts in Japan and the Levant region, as well as their more recent outcomes, the film concerns the history of May [Mei] Shigenobu, the daughter of militant Japanese Red Army (JRA) co-founder …

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