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THE PRINCESS BLADE

Japan, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Strange New Worlds)

Director: Shinsuke Sato, Donnie Yen

In the far future Japan has been closed to the outside world for 500 years. Dazzling technology is at odds with a primitive feudal system. A terrorist rebel organisation, battling the oppressive regime, is held in check by ruthless assassins for hire. Their code of honour demands death for treachery, their expertise with the sword is exceptional.

The Princess Blade combines the wit and precision of Japanese Samurai classics with today's demanding fight scenes, stunt work and FX. The film is a remake of a popular 70s hit, Lady Snowblood. While acknowledging the strengths of the original, the sensibility is entirely modern. When Yuki, one of the Takemikazuchi, begins to suspect the motives of her commanders, she abandons her mission, later uncovering the bloody mystery of her childhood after meeting Takashi, a rebel operative with secrets of his own. This Berlin Film Festival selection features music by Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell).

"This female revenge drama, beefed up with terrific action choreographed by Hong Kong specialist Donnie Yen, looks set to become a cult item." - Variety

Sato Shinsuke (born in Hiroshima, 1970) wrote and directed his first film, No Misbehaviour in the Dorm, while still studying at university in 1993. After two more films, Sato turned to screenwriting. He turned out four scripts prior to his breathtaking film, Love Songs, in 2001.

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