THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI Add To My Top 10
Family Transcends Culture
Release Date: April 02, 2004
Genre: Period Drama/Samurai Film
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 129 minutes
Distributor: Empire Pictures
Address Comments To:Empire Pictures
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New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 629-3097
Fax: (212) 629-3629
GENRE: Period Drama/Samurai Film
The story is about a humble, low-ranking samurai in a northern province, just before Japan’s civil war in 1868, which eventually ushered in the modern age in that country, much in the same way as the American Civil War did in the United States. Iguchi has just lost his wife to consumption and has to raise his two young daughters alone. His wife’s rich family forced him to pay for a funeral beyond his means, so Iguchi struggles desperately to make ends meet. The other samurai make fun of him, because Iguchi must help his daughters with the field work and house work, and the rigors of that work, plus his job keeping inventory for his master, leaves him little time to take care of himself like he should.
One day Iguchi meets a childhood friend and hears about the friend’s sister, Tomoe, whose cruel husband is such a drunkard and wife-beater that she had to divorce him and move in with her brother. Tomoe begins visiting Iguchi’s house and helping his daughters after Iguchi knocks her drunken ex-husband unconscious when the lout challenges Iguchi and the brother to a duel. Iguchi’s poverty and political strife within his clan threaten to part the two lovers forever.
Hiroyuki Sanada is brilliant as the humble, compassionate samurai Iguchi. Iguchi’s story unfolds magnificently in the hands of director Yoji Yamada, whose career goes back to 1954. Iguchi is clearly a moral man, despite the cruelties and harsh realities of Japan’s feudal, Buddhist society. His love and concern for his daughters and for the beautiful Tomoe are inspirational and emotionally powerful. Their poignant story often brings tears to the eye. THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI may be the best samurai movie in years.
THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI is clearly set in a Buddhist worldview, but the humanity, morality, and dignity of the hero and his family come through so strongly that the movie almost transcends this theological problem. Hiroyuki Sanada is brilliant as the humble, compassionate samurai Iguchi. Iguchi’s story unfolds magnificently in the hands of director Yoji Yamada, whose career goes back to 1954. Iguchi is clearly a moral man, despite the cruelties and harsh realities of Japan’s feudal, Buddhist society. His love and concern for his daughters and for his friend’s sister are inspirational and emotionally powerful.