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DORA-HEITA

Japan, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: Kon Ichikawa

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 samurai with a reputation for debauchery and drunkenness that has earned him the nickname Dora-Heita, which means 'playboy' or 'alley-cat'.

Mochizuki is dispatched to the high-crime hellhole of Horisoto where violence, prostitution and smuggling run rampant. Promoted to magistrate, Mochizuki faces the resentment of corrupt local officials and the deadly hatred of gangsters and noblemen, the Kenshi Faction. The arrival in Horisoto of an old girlfriend places Mochizuki in jeopardy, his mission in peril. Dora-Heita contains all the ingredients of Samurai classics, most crucially a loner surrounded by enemies on all sides with only his strict moral code and incredible swordsmanship to save him from an awful fate. Absolutely essential!

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 WANDERERS

Japan, 1973
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 p… 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 »

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