No Japs at My Funeral. 1980. USA/United Kingdom. Directed by James Nares. With Jackie, Lindzee Smith, Michael McClard. Cinematography by Nares and McClard. Video. 60 min.
Named after a provision in Lord Louis Mountbatten’s will made public after his assassination by the IRA in 1979, this video work by No Wave artist James Nares is a portrait of Northern Ireland’s liberation struggle through the stories of one IRA operative. Close-up shots of the man are intercut with British television reports on the Troubles, recasting the conflict as one over control of information. IRA man Jackie coolly chronicles accounts of imprisonment and brutality at the hands of the English, along with haunting details like the IRA’s habit of adding petrol to bombs to create bright colors in media photographs of their attacks. As described by Gary Indiana in a 1980 East Village Eye interview, No Japs is “a deconstructive propaganda piece that demolishes the British version of events in Northern Ireland. [It has] the same formal properties as a typical TV documentary, but is aimed to show the bias of what is known on TV as ‘truth’”. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.