The screenplay for The Ugly One was written at the request of director Eric Baudelaire by Masao Adachi, about whom Baudelaire made the documentary The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images, screened at the Courtisane Festival 2012. In the 1970s and 80s, Adachi was part of the extreme left-wing Japanese Red Army movement. The JRA fought not only in Japan, but also in Lebanon, where Adachi lived for many years, and where he actively supported the Palestinian revolution.
“Set adrift, the characters of Michel and Lili search for themselves, navigating a sea delineated by the memories of Adachi the ‘ex-terrorist’, the screenplay he is spelling out for them, and the camera of the director, whose film breaks away from the narrative instructions dispatched by Adachi from Tokyo. Part love affair, part political tale, half-documentary and half-fiction, the film is also a confrontation between two generations of politics and filmmaking, exploring the question of militancy and regret.” (Eric Baudelaire)