Sunday, August 9, 2009

Samurai Rebellion (1967)

Jōiuchi: Hairyō Tsuma Shimatsu (a.k.a. Samurai Rebellion) - Directed by Masayuki Kobayashi
上意討ち:拝領妻始末 (監督:小林正樹)

After a near two-year hiatus (I can't believe it's been that long!), we here at Showa OK! plan on skipping the lengthy apology and picking up right where we left off with another local screening of a powerful Shōwa-era film, director Masayuki Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion.

Kobayashi's tale of duty, honor and revenge is being presented jointly by the San Francisco Public Library and the Consulate General of Japan in conjunction with the currently ongoing Lords of the Samurai exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. This special screening is free and open to the public.

"Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord’s mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family’s surprise, the young couple fall in love. But the lord soon reverses his decision and demands the mistress’s return. Against all expectations, Isaburo and his son refuse, risking the destruction of their entire family. Director Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice." (The Criterion Collection)

As an added bonus, the screening will be followed by a discussion led by iaido ("the way of sword drawing") master Andrej Hendryk Diamantstein concerning the film and its depiction of the samurai way of life.

Lords and Loyalty: Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion and the Samurai Ethos will be held at Koret Auditorium in the San Francisco Public Library on August 22nd from 2-4.45p.

Lords of the Samurai runs until September 20th.

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