Issei Sagawa, the cannibal who became a popular hero in Japan.

adminOctober 21, 2018




Cannibalism rarely serves as a good career move. But it has sustained Issei Sagawa, now 69, since the 1980s. Books, movie roles, comics, countless guest appearances on his native Japan, even a verse in the Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood "(" And when he ate it, he took it from the bones / Al Bois de Boulogne ") – all derive from a horrendous act he committed in 1981.

While pursuing a doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, Sagawa brought her classmate Renée Hartevelt to her apartment on the premise that she needed help learning German. Hartevelt turned his back; Sagawa pulled out a pistol and prepared to shoot the Dutchman from behind. But he lost the nerve and could not pull the trigger.

Unfortunately, she did a second visit. This time, he shot him.

Issei Sagawa continues to benefit from a horrible act he committed in 1981.
Issei Sagawa continues to benefit from a horrible act he committed in 1981.false images

"He killed her, raped her and began to eat her," said Verena Paravel, co-director of the documentary "Caniba," who performed at the Museum of the Moving Image until next Sunday. "But he had problems with the [raw] Meat and cooked it. He made a teriyaki. "

When the remains began to smell, Sagawa decided to get rid of Hartevelt. He put his dismembered corpse in two suitcases and took them to a large park on the outskirts of Paris. "How he did it was so stupid," Paravel told The Post. "He did it before sunset, when there were a lot of people in the park." Sagawa was seen trying to throw the suitcases that dripped blood in a lake, and the authorities were summoned. "I think he wanted to be caught," Paravel added.

Upon capturing him, Sagawa confessed: "I killed her so that she would eat her flesh."

Issei Sagawa gets off a plane at Tokyo-Narita International Airport in 1984.
Issei Sagawa gets off a plane at Tokyo-Narita International Airport in 1984.AP

French psychiatrists considered that Sagawa, who would later tell Vice that he was fascinated with cannibalism since he had stared at the thigh of a first-degree classmate, was "completely insane and irresponsible." German woman in 1970 in Tokyo, but fled when she woke up.)

After his arrest, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and remained there until 1983, when the French sent him back to Japan.

The cannibal ended up translating his fame into soft core porn movies in which he would bite his fellow cast members, and even a job as a sushi critic.

Incredibly, he was not judged in his homeland. Although it is not clear why, one theory suggests that the Japanese were unable to obtain key procedural documents from France.

Although well educated, Sagawa was largely unemployed after the murder in Paris. "But he loved media attention," said Lucien Castaing-Taylor, co-director of the film. The cannibal ended up translating his fame into soft core porn movies in which he would bite his fellow cast members, as well as on the lecture circuit and even a job as a sushi critic. "He … we went to talk shows for [dryly] discuss what he did, "Castaing-Taylor added." In your media representations, do not [acknowledge doing] nothing bad. We did not see expressions of remorse. "

By the time the filmmakers reached Sagawa in 2015, he had diabetes and had suffered two heart attacks.

Rejected by most of his family, Sagawa now lives quietly outside of Tokyo. He is confined to a wheelchair, depends on public assistance and is looked after by his brother Jun, who shows his peculiar fetish in the film: he wraps his arms in barbed wire and digs the wounds with sharp tools.

To make the film, the directors spent several months with the brothers, often looking at Sagawa without exchanging words while forming a bond of trust. This approach paid off when Sagawa accompanied the filmmakers through the panels of his illustrated confessional, a very graphic book about mangacomic. Written and illustrated by Sagawa, it is currently sold out and available on Amazon for $ 248. The graphics represent him committing his atrocious act and expose the insecurities that brought him there.

Less than 5 feet tall and with small hands, Sagawa, who never married, believed that it was too repulsive for the physical intimacies that may have satisfied his desires.

Issei Sagawa speaks in Tokyo 11 years after killing and devouring Renée Hartevelt.
Issei Sagawa speaks in Tokyo 11 years after killing and devouring Renée Hartevelt.false images

Self-deprecation is explicit in the illustrations. "I do not think there's anything so obscene about him as representing and recounting what he had done," Castaing-Taylor said.

Brother Jun agreed. "He got mad at us after the manga. [was discussed with the documentary cameras rolling]"He remembered Paravel." He said: "It's going to ruin my brother's reputation." I thought it was completely hilarious. It's my favorite line in the movie. "

That said, despite all the shock value in "Caniba", the directors tried to convey something outdated. "I think it's a story of brotherly love, but full of hatred and deep competition," said Castaing-Taylor. "At some point, Jun asks: & # 39; Like your brother, would you eat me? & # 39;" The only answer is a prolonged silence.

As much of Sagawa's life, Castaing-Taylor added, the timing "is frightening, comical and very disturbing."



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