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The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

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Coming Out at 6 September 2003 in theaters

“Zatôichi”

Action, Comedy, Crime

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi is samurai drama/action film, directed, written, co-edited by and starring Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi) in his 11th directorial venture. Kitano plays the role of the blind swordsman.

The film is a revival of the classic Zatoichi series of samurai film and television dramas. It premiered on 2 September 2003 at the Venice International Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Director award, and went on to numerous other awards both at home and abroad. It also stars Tadanobu Asano, Michiyo Okusu, Yui Natsukawa, Guadalcanal Taka, Daigoro Tachibana, Yuko Daike, Ittoku Kishibe, Saburo Ishikura and Akira Emoto.

The film’s plot follows a traditional theme, with Zatoichi (a blind swordsman) coming to the defense of townspeople caught up in a local yakuza gang war and being forced to pay excessive amounts of protection money. Meanwhile, Zatoichi befriends a local farmer and her gambler nephew and eventually offers his assistance to two geisha siblings (one of whom is actually a man) who are seeking revenge for the murder of their parents. The siblings are the only survivors of a robbery and massacre that was carried out on their family estate ten years ago. They soon discover the people responsible for the murders are the same yakuza wreaking havoc on the small town.

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Writers: Takeshi Kitano, Kan Shimozawa (novels)

Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa, Michiyo Yasuda, Yûko Daike

Cast:

Takeshi KitanoZatôichi / Ichi
Tadanobu AsanoHattori Genosuke
Michiyo YasudaAunt Oume
Taka GuadalcanalShinkichi
Daigorô TachibanaGeisha Seitaro ‘Osei’ Naruto
Yûko DaikeGeisha Okinu Naruto
Yui NatsukawaO-Shino, Hattori’s Wife
Ittoku KishibeBoss Inosuke Ginzo
Saburô IshikuraBoss Tashichi Ogi
Akira EmotoTavern Owner Pops
Ben HiuraTavern Gramps
Kohji MiuraLord Sakai
HidebohDancing Farmer
Ron IIDancing Farmer
SujiDancing Farmer
NoriyasuDancing Farmer
Makoto AshikawaCarpenter
Tsumami EdamameCarpenter
Kosuke OhtaCarpenter
Yoshiyuki MorishitaCarpenter
Naomasa MusakaYakuza Boss on the Country Road
Shôken KunimotoRival Swordsman
Daigaku SekineGinzo’s Henchman I
Koji KoikeBoss Funahachi
Kôji KiryûDice Dealer at Funahachi’s Joint
Taigi KobayashiFunahachi’s Bodyguard
Ayano YoshidaYoung O-Kinu
Taichi SaotomeYoung O-Sei (Seitaro)
Kanji TsudaPlayboy at Home
Ikki GotoKuchinawa Underling 1
Yoshio NakamuraKuchinawa Underling 3
Hiroaki NoguchiKuchinawa Underling 5
Shinichi NakatsuKuchinawa Underling 2
Toru YonezuKuchinawa Underling 4
P. ManTavern Customer 4
Al KitagoFarmer Boy 1
Omiya no MatsuFarmer Boy 2
Tsutomu TakeshigeFarmer Boy 4
Gambino KobayashiFarmer Boy 5
Sammy Moremore Jr.Farmer Boy 6
MuhômatsuFarmer Boy with a Spear
Yasushi Higuchi
Ryûki Kitaoka
Isao Ogura
Masayoshi Ohzeki
Kenji TakechiYakuza
Yoji Tanaka

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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