The Hidden Blade

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La servante et le samouraï

Hidden Blade

(Kakushi ken oni no tsume)

by Yamada Yoji



La servante et le samouraï

Director: Yamada Yoji

Script: Yamada Yoji, Yoshitaka Asama

Cinematographer: Mutsuo Naganuma

Editing: Iwao Ishii

Sound: Kazumi Kishida

Music: Isao Tomita

Cast: Masatochi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Tomoko Tabata, Reiko Takashima

Production: Shochiku

CTV International
85 bis rue Réaumur
75002 Paris
Tel: 0033
Fax: 0033

Year: 2004

35 mm, Colour, 132 min, 
OV Japanese with French Subtitles

Berlin Film Festival 2005

In 1867, at the dawn of Emperor Meji's Restoration, low caste samurais Munezo Katagari and Samon Shimada accompany Yaichiro Hazama, one of their companions joining a clan in Edo, the capital. Katagari and Hazama were the best disciples of sword master Kansai Toda. Katagari comes back home, a modest house where his family and their servant Kie are staying.The times of Shogunat are about to end, and samurais, including Katagari, have now to train in a military western way. Three years later, Katagari lives alone. His sister is now married to his friend Samon, whereas Kie married the son of a trader, and he believes she is happy…

The Hidden Blade is apparently a film in the tradition of 'chambara'. Yet, we actually see a samurai doubting about the rigidity of his companions, corruption and an impossible love story in a coun try where the unchanging caste system prevails. The meticulous recreation of sets and costumes, and well-made direction place this first part of a trilogy in the tradition of great Japanese cinema.

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