The Sword Is Mightier Than The Gun: TATARA SAMURAI Review

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 Japanese  director, YOSHINARI  NISHIKORI is  back  with  award  winning  Japanese  epic TATARA  SAMURAI

A man called Gosuke must now follow tradition and step into the role of the village Murage (expert blacksmith).  The steel (Tatara Steel) that is produced inIzumo, Japan is said to be the strongest steel in the world which makes it the number one resource in making Katanas and other elite bladed weaponry.

(FACT: To this day, with all of our advancements in technology, Tatara steel can still only be made in Izumo, Japan and produced using ancient Japanese traditional methods which involve excruciating hard manual labour.)

Although Gosuke is aware of the importance of his job as Murage, his mind and heart are somewhere else. He has lost loved ones and friends throughout the years at the hands of raiders who come looking for the steel, leaving a trail of death in their wake. Gosuke wants to break the family tradition and become a samurai to help protect his village from future attacks.

Gosuke finds a man who takes him to a nearby stationed samurai army in the hopes of getting recruited. He comes with the only gift he can bring, a lump of Tatara steel. After joining forces with the Oda army, it ain’t long before Gosuke begins to doubt his abilities as a samurai and future protector of his village.

Tatara Samurai Eleven Arts

 

It wasn’t the film that I was expecting….it was more

What I thought I was going to get was a film about a rookie samurai that learns to fight and chops his way through the bad guys. Tatara Samurai has so much more to offer and although not martial arts extravaganza I thought it would be, it was a breath of fresh air to see a film carry such natural beauty.

The cinematographer (Akira Sako) deserves a special mention, he really captured the stunning scenery and backdrop of Izumo, Japan.  Shot in retro 35mm, the film itself felt really authentic. It looked like watching a Japanese samurai film from decades ago.

I did a little research and stumbled on an interview with the director, producer and cinematographer. Everything we see in the film is was built from scratch. The huge furnace-like contraption that they use to make the steel was built for the production and can produce actual steel. The steel making process in the movie is mesmerising to look at, every detail, done to perfection with the camera capturing every spark and flame that rises. They built an entire village, and the entire movie was shot on location. Everything down to the costumes being completely made from the same materials (hemp) as back in the ancient times….Tatara Samurai is as real as it gets.

 

ELEVEN ARTS WILL RELEASE TATARA SAMURAI IN SELECT THEATRES ACROSS THE U.S ON JUNE 2ND, 2017

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