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Genre: Action

Duration: 116 Minutes

Rating: 14A

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi

Part of our The Way of the Sword: Samurai Film Talk Series!

Hosted by Ryan Ferguson  

Samurai, the sword-bearing warrior, has been one of the central images of Japanese Cinema from its inception. The Way of the Sword is a look at the films on the fringe of mainstream samurai and chanbara cinema. These darker, stylized films found their place at late-night screenings and have indelibly influenced cinema and pop culture.  

Ryan Ferguson  

Ryan Ferguson is a film programmer and musician based in Hamilton, ON. He was the lead programmer of the AGH Film Festival between 2014 and 2021 and is the former Curator of Film at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Ryan currently programs the theatrical and special event film screenings at The Westdale. Japanese historical and contemporary cinema is Ryan’s primary area of interest, and ‘The Way of the Sword’ is part of a series of film programs he is developing to provide more exposure to the lesser seen corners of Japanese Cinema. 

Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano) is a blind samurai who voluntarily comes to assist the people of a small village who are in a dangerous predicament. They are caught in a Yakuza gang war, and are being forced to pay most of their money to the mob. Zatoichi befriends a local farmer and her nephew who are the sole survivors of a massacre carried out by the Yakuza ten years ago, and are thirsty for revenge. The film is a remake of a 1960s film of the same name, modernized and revamped for modern cinema.