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THE WANDERERS

Japan, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Kon Ichikawa

Set in nineteenth century Japan, The Wanderers has been likened in its theme to Easy Rider. It follows the adventures of three "toseinins', unemployed young men who roam the countryside, living off petty crime and gambling. They follow their own rules and respect their own code of behaviour.

The three young men, Shinla, Genta and Mokutaro, meet at the house of a gang-boss and help him defeat his rival gamblers. During their stay in the house, one of the three, Genta, discovers that his father, who has been missing for years, also lives in the village and is planning to double cross the boss. The scheme is exposed and the gang leader orders Genta to kill his father.

The son obeys; he cannot forgive his father who deserted his family and ran away with a woman. After the murder, the three toseinin are expelled from the village. They return to Genta's house, where they are involved in further tragic violence. The director, Kon Ichikawa, satirizes and mocks the three youths throughout the film, to its tragic and ironic conclusion.

'It's all very convincingly acted, spledidly lensed and interestingly set in a hilly region of Japan, and a welcome return to the sort of film which shaped Japan's eminent post-war film reputation.

Hawk, Variety

See also...

ALONE ON THE PACIFIC

Japan, 1963
lchikawa has filmed the true story of a young Japanese who sailed a 19-foot yacht from Osaka to San Francisco in ninety days of solitary adventure. But unlike the men of the Kon Tiki, he had no scien… More »

FIRES ON THE PLAIN

Japan, 1959
Fires on the Plain, like director Ichikawa's earlier Harp of Burma, is concerned with the futility and horror of war, and protests at the private suffering which comprises this social catastrophe. It… More »

THE MAKIOKA SISTERS

Japan, 1983
"The Makioka Sisters" is based on one of the classics of Japanese literature, a family epic along the lines of "The ... Forsyte Saga" or, "The Magnificent Ambersons", by famous ... writer Junichiro T… More »

THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILION

Japan, 1976
This is another film version of Yukio Mishima's story of the same title, which was first filmed by Kon Ichikawa under the title of Enjo. ... In his childhood, Mizoguchi has been taught by his father … More »

DORA-HEITA

Japan, 1999
Based on a script written by Akira Kurosawa, Dora-Heita is directed by his 85-year-old friend and collaborator, Kon Ichikawa and returns to a golden age of Samurai sagas. Koheita Mochizuki is a samur… More »

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