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Voted one of the top five Japanese films ever made in a critic’s poll by Japan’s leading cinema publication Kinema junpô, yet barely known in the West, Yûzô Kawashima’s richly funny multi-levelled portrait of Japanese society Bakumatsu taiyô-den [A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] is a glorious rediscovery.
When man-about-town Saheiji (the beloved comedian Frankie Sakai) finds himself unable to pay for a bill at a brothel, he is forced to remain there to work off his debt. However he finds his wit and resourcefulness enable him to turn this situation to his advantage, as he interacts with a whole range of characters, from rivalling courtesans to political activists.
Co-scripted by Shôhei Imamura (Vengeance Is Mine), it sharply and comically demonstrates the constants of human nature just as it delineates the tumultuous political times (the 1860s, leading up to the Meiji Restoration) in which they lived. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this classic in a new high-definition restoration.