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Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A hitman who lives by the code of the samurai, works for the mafia and finds himself in their crosshairs when his recent job doesn't go according to plan. Now he must find a way to defend himself and his honor while retaining the code he lives by.

  • This is a story not about the mob or the mafia or a black hit man per se. They are contexts for a much deeper morality. The story is about the contrast of good and evil. The evil is the master and the good is the servant. The servant honors the master, thus the good serves the evil. Yet this paradox is resolved by the ultimate sacrifice the good endures to redeem the evil. Simple to see, but deserves contemplation.

  • In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows "Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai." He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss' daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog's hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate?

  • An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.


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