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Archive - 12th Five Flavours Film Festival


Japan 2018, 80’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Shinya Tsukamoto
screenplay: Shinya Tsukamoto
cinematography: Shinya Tsukamoto, Satoshi Hayashi
editing: Shinya Tsukamoto
music: Chu Ishikawa
cast: Sosuke Ikematsu, Yu Aoi, Tatsuya Nakamura, Shinya Tsukamoto, Ryusei Maeda
producer: Shinya Tsukamoto
production: Kaiju Theater
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Toronto IFF 2018; Venice IFF 2018; Sitges - Catalonian IFF

Film description

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?

Jagoda Murczyńska

Shinya Tsukamoto

Born on January 1, 1960. Director, producer, actor, editor, and screenwriter, consistently following the path of an independent filmmaker. One of the key post-war Japanese directors, the creator of the break-through 1989 "Tetsuo," and a deeply harrowing war film "Fires on the Plain" (2014). Most of his works elude generic classification, combining the elements of horror, science-fiction, monster movie, thriller, and drama.

Selected filmography:

1975 Kyodai gokiburi monogatari

1989 Tetsuo - człowiek z żelaza / Tetsuo / Tetsuo the Iron Man

1990 Yokai Hanta - Hiruko / Hiruko the Goblin

1998 Bullet Ballet

2002 Wąż czerwcowy / Rokugatsu no hebi / A Snake of June

2004 Buitaru / Vital

2011 Kotoko

2014 Ognie w polu / Nobi / Fires on the Plain

2018 Mord / Zan / Killing

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