In 1159, during an attempted coup, one of the court's ladies in waiting disguises herself as the lord's wife, and a loyal samurai conveys her from the city. This diversion allows the royal ... See full summary »
In 1159, during an attempted coup, one of the court's ladies in waiting disguises herself as the lord's wife, and a loyal samurai conveys her from the city. This diversion allows the royal family to escape. After the coup fails, the samurai asks his lord to let him marry the woman as his reward. The lord grants the request and then discovers she is already married to one of the ruling family's lieges. The samurai clings to his desire, importuning her to leave her husband, then challenging the husband to release her. Although the husband stays calm and she stays faithful, the samurai remains intemperate and stubborn, with tragic consequences. Written by
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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