Harakiri ★★★★½

Tsugumo Hanshirō arrives at the lands of the respected Ii clan requesting to be allowed to honorably practice the ceremony of seppuku. Before carrying out the ritual he wishes to tell those present a story, the tragic story of a family caught up in misery that strives to survive what seems like a doomed fate. In Harakiri, Masaki Kobayashi criticizes the feudal system, questions seemingly unbreakable dogmas, and points to the hypocrisy of the honor code and traditional Japanese values of that time. This is a demystifying and critical work, meticulously constructed by Kobayashi, with an impeccable script and a superb performance by Tatsuya Nakadai. A devastating, moving and fatalistic film about the sacrifice of a man seeking revenge and justice. Truly outstanding.

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