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Ladislav H. Struna,
In 1160, in the Heian Period, Lord Kiyomori travels with his court to another feud and his Castle Sanjo is invaded by two other lords, in a coup. The loyal samurai Moritoh Enda asks the court lady Kesa to pose of the lord's sister to create a diversion while the lord's real sister and his father flee in the middle of the people. Then Moritoh travels to meet Lord Kiyomon and fights with him to defeat the enemies and the coup fails. Lord Kiyomon rewards the warriors that helped him and when he asks Moritoh what he wishes, he requests to marry Kesa. The lord grants his wish but soon he learns that Kesa is married with Wataru Watanabe, a samurai from the imperial guard. Moritoh harasses Kesa and threatens her, promising to kill her husband, her aunt and her if she does not marry him. Kesa's decision leads the trio to a tragic fate. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Some thirty years ago, I was lucky enough to see this film in Paris. We left the theatre well past midnight and we were marvelling at the intensity of the movie. Black and white version, Japanese with subtitles. Uneasy, one would say. Yet, it gave us and still gives me so many years later a wonderful feeling of beauty. Roughly following the script of the French novel 'Princesse of Cleves', it describes the tragedy of being faithful to one's oath. Married and intending to stay true to her husband, the heroine refuses the loving entreaties of the samurai who saved her life. Realizing that she will stay with her husband though she may have only feelings of friendship toward said spouse,the hero decides to 'free' her by killing said husband. Naturally, this being a Stoicism tragedy: The husband discovers belatedly his wife really loves/loved him, the samurai discovers too late that been faithful comes with a price etc etc...
It is beauty, pure beauty. Such a change from nowadays ridiculous re-writings like some coming blockbusters.
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