Harakiri [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection]

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aec.crrnhar110dvd 8/23/05 New
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Synopsis

This well-regarded Japanese drama follows an aging samurai as he attempts to regain his family's honor. In 17th century Japan, a shift in the country's political structure has thrown the feudal Shogun system into disuse. Impoverished samurai wander the countryside, asking wealthy estate owners if they can commit hara-kiri, a grisly form of suicide, on their property. The usual and honorable response is an offer of some work for food or shelter. Into the house of a lord comes Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai), an elderly warrior who asks chief retainer Kageyu Saito (Rentaro Mikuni) that the manor's three hired swordsmen serve as his seconds in the ritual. When the appointed hour arrives, however, the swordsmen do not appear, dishonoring the man. Hanshiro reveals himself to be the father-in-law of Motome Chijiiwa (Yoshio Inaba), a young samurai who had earlier approached Saito and been cruelly forced to go through with the fatal act, disemboweling himself with a dull bamboo blade, as his own had been sold to feed his family. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
8/23/05 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
2 hours, 13 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Exclusive video introduction by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Rare excerpt of a Directors Guild of Japan video interview with director Masaki Kobayashi conducted by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda (Double Suicide)
  • New video interviews with star Tatsuya Nakadai and screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto
  • Poster gallery
  • A 32-page booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Joan Mellen and a reprint of her 1972 interview with Kobayashi
Number of Discs
2

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