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LOVE AND HONOR (Bushi no ichibun)
Best Supporting Actor Best Cinematography Best Lighting plus 9 nominations Japanese Academy Awards
"If Yamada was once a sort of Japanese Norman Rockwell, giving the big audience warm tinglies with his idealized, portraits of national archetypes, he has since become more like Andrew Wyeth: still popular with the masses, but striking deeper, darker emotional chords." -Japan Times
"Love and Honor...maintains the grace and resonance of its predecessors as well as their focus on class inequality" -New York Times
"[Yamada] delivers style and grace with a final restrained drop of bloodshed" -Variety
"Nuanced" -TimeOut Chicago
Critic's Choice! "Takuya Kimura (2046) gives a finely shaded performance...while Isao Tomita's lush score adds an epic dimension" -Chicago Reader
Though he is low rank with modest means, young samurai Shinnojo Mimura (Takuya Kimura) has a fairly happy and stable life with his loving wife Kayo. He dreams about a kendo school open to boys of all castes where he can teach the use of the sword. All this comes crashing down when he loses his eyesight in the service of his feudal lord. Distressed by his inability to support his household, he turns violent and resentful, and considers ending his own life to redeem his name. Shinnojo cannot stand spending the remainder of his life in darkness, but Kayo bolsters his confidence and he gradually begins to accept his handicap. Yet, one day, Shinnojo finds out the fact that, at the behest of unsympathetic relatives, Kayo has sought the assistance of chief duty officer Toya Shimada, who uses his influence to help Shinnojo retain his income and rank. However, there is a price to be paid for this favor and Shinnojo becomes increasingly troubled that he may be losing his wife and honor to another man. Renowned director Yoji Yamada (Twilight Samurai, Hidden Blade) has made an emotional and intense story that culminates with a gripping sword duel.
Directed by Yoji Yamada, Japan, 2006, 35mm, 122 mins. In Japanese with English subtitles.