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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!

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