An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
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.
A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzaemon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, ... See full summary »
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.
Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel.Written by
Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »
I am ashamed to say that over many years of hardship with two daughters, a sick wife and an aged mother, I have lost the desire to wield a sword. A serious fight, the killing of a man, requires animal ferocity and calm disregard for one's own life. I have neither of those within me now. Perhaps in a month... alone with the beasts in the hills I could get them back. But tomorrow, I am afraid, is completely impossible.
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The settings and photography in this film are not "grand" but give the impression of realism and the grittiness of life in feudal times. The storytelling devices and attention to detail are core to the feeling I took away from this film, which was one of dipping into a tiny slice of time but seeing a myriad of ageless issues (honour, duty, grief, non-ambition, family priorities). However, what really impressed me was the way the main part (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) grew through the film. At the beginning of the film he seemed physically smaller, his whole demeanour and features were weak and insignificant. Having never seen him act before, I felt I was going to struggle to relate to this man as a lead role. It was incredible to see him (partly through acting and partly through subtle directing) grow into the figure we see at the end; he's taller with wide shoulders and strong features, yet remains a gentle and humble man. This is a very touching film and one which I could definitely watch over and over.
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