The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
Yakuza is a term which originally stems from the world of gambling, but the word, literally meaning 'eight-nine-three', has other connotations. In Japan, more than 86,000 so-called yakuza are members of consortiums that are fronts for the mafia. The yakuza are led by dictatorial bosses and operate in a world with its own set of rules. In contemporary Japan, it is hard to find enough subservient and reliable disciples, who can be accepted into the clan after a one-year internship. Young Yakuza follows one of them, a 20-year-old freeloader named Naoki, who interns with one of the leading consortiums: the Kumagai clan in Tokyo's Shinagawa district. The French director Jean-Pierre Limosin depicts this extremely hierarchical organization, led by a seemingly cold-blooded mafia boss, from Naoki's perspective. Limosin interweaves Naoki's experiences with musical intermezzos of rapping contemporaries, but he cannot really capture the consortium's illegal dealings, since the Japanese predecessors who tried before did not live to tell the tale. Nonetheless, this detailed portrait of Naoki, who calls it quits after a while, and that of a 'colleague' who ends up in jail, make it clear what kind of parallel universe is lurking beneath the legitimate surface.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Limosin, France, 2007, 35mm, 98 mins. In Japanese with English subtitles.