An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
From the Criterion Collection: "Among the first Japanese films to deal directly with the scars of World War II, this drama about a group of rank-and-file Japanese soldiers jailed for crimes... See full summary »
Perhaps Kobayashi's most sordid film, Black River is an exposé of the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a ... See full summary »
Kobayashi's pitiless take on Japan's professional baseball industry is unlike any other sports film ever made. An excoriation of the inhumanity bred by a mercenary, bribery-fueled business,... See full summary »
Part three of a trilogy. After the Japanese defeat to the Russians in the last episode, Kaji, the Japanese soldier and humanist protagonist, leads the last remaining men through Manchuria . Intent on returning to his dear wife and his old life, Kaji faces great odds in a variety of different harrowing circumstances as he and his fellow men sneak behind enemy lines. Ultimately, he finds himself in the exact opposite position he held in the first episode: then a labor manager, Kaji is now a prisoner of war, forced to work for the Russians, whom do not seem to hold to the Communist ideals in which Kaji himself had put his faith. Written by
not the gangster slash-em-up buddy film you thought it would be
If you have any remote interest in film go see this right away. Don't bother watching if you are too scared to attempt the entire 10 hours in one sitting. It's worth it and then some. The actor playing Kaji was terrific and each part turns out better than the last (everything really, the acting/camera work... all the bells and whistles just sound better the further in you get). It definitely struck me as something Adolfas Mekas would totally dig, which says a lot. This is a must see. If you decide to bring the wife and kids (or husband and mother-in-law or what- have-you) just be warned: this movie involves a fair amount of human suffering, on and off the screen. -Ed Hellman.
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