Adapting a revolutionary approach to narrative filmmaking like his contemporary Ôshima Nagisa, Yoshida refuses to tell Kitas story through the linearity that has functioned in Japanese cinema as a thinly veiled substitute for the <i>benshi, </i>the live commentator who explained the plot to silent-film audiences in Japan. During the silent era, the <i>benshi, </i>each with the embellishments reflecting his own personal style, would duplicate in words the action of the film. Then came the traditional, didactic historical film, full of explanations conveyed through subtitles or voice-over narration. This is the style employed by Horikawa and other directors of the pedestrian historical film. The audience, spoon-fed, is prevented from actively participating in the experience of the film.