6.9/10
6,544
52 user 65 critic

Taboo (1999)

Gohatto (original title)
The new member of a samurai militia unit causes disruption as several of his colleagues fall in love with him, threatening to disturb the rigid code of their squad.

Director:

Nagisa Ôshima

Writers:

Ryôtarô Shiba (novel), Nagisa Ôshima

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10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Kitano ... Captain Toshizo Hijikata (as 'Beat' Takeshi)
Ryûhei Matsuda ... Samurai Sozaburo Kano
Shinji Takeda Shinji Takeda ... Lieutenant Soji Okita
Tadanobu Asano ... Samurai Hyozo Tashiro
Yôichi Sai Yôichi Sai ... Commander Isami Kondo
Jirô Sakagami Jirô Sakagami ... Lieutenant Genzaburo Inoue
Kôji Matoba Kôji Matoba ... Samurai Heibei Sugano
Masa Tommies Masa Tommies ... Inspector Jo Yamazaki
Masatô Ibu Masatô Ibu ... Officer Koshitaro Ito
Zakoba Katsura Zakoba Katsura ... Wachigaiya
Tomorô Taguchi ... Samurai Tojiro Yuzawa
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chikako Aoyama Chikako Aoyama
Yoshiaki Fujiwara Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Daisuke Iijima Daisuke Iijima
Yôichi Iijima Yôichi Iijima
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Storyline

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. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan | France | UK

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

18 December 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Taboo See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,947, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$47,234, 26 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Nagisa Ôshima's only film after his 1996 stroke. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visually stunning, oddly gripping film
6 March 2005 | by kaos-23See all my reviews

I happened to catch this film on BBC4 last night. My attention was immediately caught by the stunning Japanese setting, and as the film progressed, by the unusual storyline.

This film is about the Shinsen militia: a group of samurai in shogun times. The story explores the homoerotic tensions between the men, as well as the conflict with another militia (group of samurai).

In a way, not much happens in the film, but at the same time, it is fascinating from beginning to end. Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano gives an impressive performance as one of the older samurai, and in fact all the actors are very good.

While the overall atmosphere of the film is quite dark, there are many funny moments which lift the mood. The humour is quite subtle - no slapstick here.

The film is visually stunning, with wonderful use of light and colour to emphasise the mood of each scene. The Japanese mountains, lakes, and buildings look gorgeous.

There are some moments in the film which are quite graphic, both sex and violence. However, this is not done in a gratuitous or grotesque way, and I didn't find it offensive.

Overall, as another reviewer has commented, this film is somewhat cold. Despite the powerful events that happen in the film, they don't really emotionally involve you as a viewer. The film almost feels like a parable rather than a 'realistic' story.

In summary, this is a gorgeous-looking film with an unusual subject matter, which is well worth watching.


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