In this mesmerizing film about betrayal and justice, a shogun general has been murdered, and no one knows who is responsible. In time, the general’s younger son, Tadanaga, realizes that his older brother, Iemitsu, may be the culprit. Blood doesn’t run thicker than water for schemer Iemitsu, who makes a power play for the shogunate. Toshirô Mifune, Sonny Chiba and Hiroki Matsukata star in this action-drama directed by Japanese icon Kinji Fukasaku.
Known primarily in the West for directing such features as Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and the controversial Battle Royale (2000), maverick Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku established himself early on with a series of Toei Studio yakuza movies before gaining international recognition after taking over for Akira Kurosawa when the legendary director abandoned Tora! Tora! Tora!. Fukasaku was born in Mito, Japan, in 1930, and made his film debut with 1961’s High Noon for Gangsters.Taking a cue from Italian neorealism, Fukasaku continued to craft a unique style that would flourish throughout the 1960s. Later helming the visually explosive Black Lizard, it soon became apparent that Fukasaku was a director whose talents were limited by the suffocating restraints of the Japanese studio system. Exploring the dark underworld of crime and continually blurring the line between good and evil in his “Battle series,” (which began with 1973’s Battles Without Honor and Humanity) the director’s brutal… read more