Sometimes non-Japanese directors tell stories on the big screen that Japanese filmmakers and studios shy away from. Sometimes, these reasons are political.

“Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters” was Paul Schrader’s 1985 biopic about the celebrated and nationalist author Yukio Mishima, who ended his life in 1970 by seppuku after urging members of the Self-Defense Force to overturn Japan’s pacifist Constitution. Though critically well-received in the West, “Mishima” was never released in Japan due in part to objections by Mishima’s widow to the film’s depiction of his homosexuality.

The latest non-Japanese director to make a biographical film about a similarly touchy subject is Arthur Harari with “Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle,” which premiered in the Cannes Un Certain Regard section earlier this year. Famous as the last native Japanese soldier to surrender after World War II (Teruo Nakamura, a Taiwanese-Japanese soldier, held out a few months longer), Hiroo Onoda received a hero’s welcome in Japan on his 1974 return from the island of Lubang in the Philippines, where he had spent three decades. Later revelations that Onoda had killed Filipino civilians tarnished his reputation, however, and his decision to leave Japan for Brazil in 1975, after becoming disappointed in the weakening of traditional values among his countrymen, took even more of the shine off his celebrity.