Harakiri ★★★★★

The Letterbox Season Challenge 2018-19

Week 3: September 23-29th
Non-Kurosawa Samurai Week

The only Samurai films I have seen are those directed by the great Kurosawa, with Seven Samurai being my fav. I’m glad I finally branched out and watch a samurai flick by a different director. Harakiri, set in 1630s feudal Japan, takes place after civil wars and during a time of peace, when samaurai find themselves out of work because they are not needed anymore. This leads to hardships for the ronin, causing some to lead to such desparation they seek to commit acts of Harakiri, which is public suicide through self-disembowelment. The movie scathingly questions adherence to strict codes of honor and the loss of humanity that can be a result of this. This movie was directed by Masaki Kobayashi, who also directed Kaiden and Samurai Rebellion. It is beautifully shot, especially the exciting end sequence. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and am interested in watching more non-Kurosawa samurai films.

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