SAYA-ZAMURAI (SCABBARD SAMURAI)
A film by Hitoshi Matsumoto (Big Man Japan, Symbol)
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Kanjuro Nomi (Takaaki Nomi) is a disgraced samurai who only carries an empty scabbard at his hip. He travels the countryside with his daughter, but is captured and sentenced to death for his earlier crimes. The clan leader who passes this sentence gives Kanjuro one chance: if in 30 days he can make the man’s grief-stricken son laugh, Kanjuro won’t have to commit seppuku and will be set free. And while this seems to be a daunting task, Kanjuro (with the help of his daughter and two kindly guards) comes up with consistently more inventive ways to bring even the slightest smile to the kid’s face.
From Hitoshi Matsumoto, creator of BIG MAN JAPAN and AFFD 2010 favorite SYMBOL, SAYA-ZAMURAI feels less bizarre and more touching than those earlier films. Yet the director’s quirky, offbeat style of humor is well in place, and for such a slyly effective film, it shows a masterful mix of melancholy, hope and kindness. Surprisingly delicate and beautifully shot, it also cements Matsumoto as a director to watch; after three terrifically unique films, we can’t wait to see what he does next.
THE AFFD is very proud to present the Southwest Premiere of SAYA-ZAMURAI as our Centerpiece presentation.
- Hitoshi Matsumoto (Big Man Japan, Symbol)
- Jun Kunimura, Masatô Ibu and Itsuji Itao