Perhaps Masaki Kobayashi’s most sordid film, Black River examines the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases in Japan following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a love triangle that develops between a good-natured student, his innocent girlfriend, and a coldhearted petty criminal (Tatsuya Nakadai, in his first major role) to reveal a nation slowly succumbing to lawlessness and violence. —The Criterion Collection
Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹, Kobayashi Masaaki, February 14, 1916–October 4, 1996) was a Japanese director.
Among his films is Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from the book by Lafcadio Hearn, each of which has a surprise ending.
Kobayashi also directed The Human Condition, a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over 9 hours. Other notable films include Harakiri (1962) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). Harakiri won him an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, solidifying his place in the history of cinema.
He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) but instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.
Kobayashi, himself a pacifist, was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but refused to fight and refused promotion to a rank higher than private. —Wikipedia
In Kobayashi's excellent drama, Tatsuya Nakadai stands out in a great ensemble cast with a terrific performance as a vile and violent Yakuza who violates the radiant Ineko Arima (so impressive in Ozu's Tokyo Twilight from the same year) as he plots to remove the residents of a ramshackle establishment situated outside a US Army base. Also standing out - Isuzu Yamada's teeth which have to be seen to be disbelieved....