Festival news

10 September 2018

Shinya Tsukamoto’s "Killing" at the 12th Five Flavours!

The latest film by one of the most important Japanese filmmakers is featured in the Special Screenings section of the upcoming edition of the Festival.

"Killing" (Zan, Japan 2018) premiered at the recent 75th Venice IFF.

After 250 years of peace, the samurais feel like they have been swept to the margins of history. The gloomy ronin Mokunoshin lives in the country, teaching sword techniques to a young peasant, and spending time with the boy’s taciturn sister. Meanwhile, Western negotiators arrive in the closed-off Japan. For idle warriors, it is a perfect excuse to get back on the road, but not all their motives are entirely pure.

Famous for his unorthodox approach to film genres, Tsukamoto has finally taken up the challenge of making samurai cinema, which in Japan has recently been dominated by manga interpretations. "Killing," on the other hand, is a dead-serious revival of the raw form and pure essence of the genre. Each cut of the samurai sword carries the Bergmanesque weight, and the consequences of the protagonists’ choices prompt us to rethink the notions of honor and loyalty. This is the second film, after "Fires on the Plain," in which the director strips war of its pop-cultural appeal. With unrelenting honesty, he confronts the viewers with the fundamental existential questions. Sword mastery is a beautiful art, but what does its use in real life really entail?

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