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7.2
/10
721 Ratings

Taboo

Gohatto

Directed by Nagisa Ôshima
Japan, France, 1999
Drama, LGBT+, History

Synopsis

Set during Japan’s Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting…

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Taboo Directed by Nagisa Ôshima
Oshima is unsparing in his depiction of the militia’s bloody exploits (Kano’s first assignment is a beheading, shown in horrific detail) and in his revelation of Kano’s motive for joining up—the desire to kill with impunity. His restrained, elegant images capture life on the edge of death; the warriors’ sparring and training, their rigid discipline and furious bloodlust, come off as the ultimate aphrodisiacs.
February 15, 2017
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It’s a tantalizing film, deliberately unclear in its meaning, but a hypnotic experience nonetheless.
January 30, 2009
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The samurai film is a venerable Japanese genre, and Oshima obeys its codes only to inject this unfamiliar element into its bloodstream – to blow up the tradition from within its gates… Kitano might as well be acting with a mask on: he gives almost nothing away, until his banked emotions flare up in a sudden, startling release in the final scene. The mood of the film fits its meaning: the tone is stately, restrained, but the presence of Kano charges each scene with tension.
April 22, 2004
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