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Country: Japan | France | UK, Language: Japanese, 100 mins

Original Title

  • Director: Nagisa Oshima
  • Writer: Nagisa Oshima; Ryotaro Shiba
  • Producer: Jean Labadie; Masayuki Motomochi

CGiii Comment

The legendary director...Nagisa Ôshima's last film.

Gay samurais, jealousy among men, honour and social class...all play their hands in deciding who lives  - but love, as treacherous as a flood - decides who wins and who is allowed to love.

This is a carefully constructed, brutally gentle story...expertly told.

Sakamoto's score is hypnotising...and, with Oshima at the helm, this is a work of extraordinary beauty.

The taboo here is not the homosexuality - that would be too easy for Oshima.

It is something far more profound and sinister. It is introspective, subtle, restrained, and commanding.

Few directors come close to Oshima's work and few ever will.

Astounding in every sense.


The(ir) Blurb...

Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the training room, all centering around a handsome young samurai named Sozaburo Kano. The school's stern master can choose to intervene, or to let Kano decide his own path.

Cast & Characters

Takeshi Kitano as Captain Toshizo Hijikata;
Ryuhei Matsuda as Samurai Sozaburo Kano;
Shinji Takeda as Lieutenant Soji Okita;
Tadanobu Asano as Samurai Hyozo Tashiro;
Koji Matoba as Samurai Heibei Sugano;
Masa Tommies as Inspector Jo Yamazaki;
Masato Ibu as Officer Koshitaro Ito;
Uno Kanda as The Geisha Nishikigi-Dayu;
Kazuko Yoshiyuki as The Servant Omatsu;
Tomorowo Taguchi as Samurai Tojiro Yuzawa;
Yoichi Sai as Commander Isami Kondo;
Jiro Sakagami as Lieutenant Genzaburo Inoue;
Zakoba Katsura as Wachigaiya;
Kei Sato as The Narrator; Chikako Aoyama