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Japan | 2013 | 135 minutes | Lee Sang-il

Ken Watanabe stars as a retired samurai who takes up his sword anew in this gorgeously shot and impressively choreographed Meiji-period remake of Clint Eastwood’s classic western.

May 24, 2014
AMC Pacific Place 11  
1:00 PM Date has passed
May 27, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
9:30 PM Date has passed
May 31, 2014
Kirkland Performance Center  
8:30 PM Date has passed
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Featuring stunning cinematography and a story that transcends time and space, Lee Sang-il’s Unforgiven is an impressive cinematic achievement that closes the circle on a classic filmic conversation. It began with Akira Kurosawa’s iconoclastic Samurai flick Yojimbo in 1961. Three years later, Sergio Leone remade it in the spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood, which propelled Eastwood to international prominence. As a director, Eastwood helmed the Oscar®-winning masterpiece Unforgiven in 1992. Now, Lee Sang-il transposes that film’s story to Meiji-era Japan. Jubei Kamata (Ken Watanabe), a once notorious swordsman now retired, spends his days tending to his children and his struggling farmstead. When an old comrade arrives bearing news of a sizable bounty on the lives of two bandits who have mutilated the face of a prostitute, Jubei reluctantly sets off with his comrade and Goro, a young and cocky swordsman, to earn the bounty. Unknown to the trio, their journey will draw them in with the sadistic Ichizo, the village bailiff with a loathing for bounty hunters. This dynamic new take on an old story of honor and duty will please genre fans and general audiences with its timeless themes.

Director Biography

Sang-il Lee, a Korean-Japanese director, graduated from the Japan Institute of the Moving Image. His first film Chong (2000) won the Grand Prix Prize, along with four other awards at the Pia Filim Festival. In 2006 Lee's film Hula Girl won Best Film at the Japanese Academy Awards and was submitted to the Academy Awards® for Best Foreign Film.

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, Delta Air Lines, The Stranger

Director: Lee Sang-il
Principal Cast: Ken Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Koichi Sato, Yuya Yagira, Shiori Kutsuna
Country: Japan
Year: 2013
Running Time: 135 minutes
Producer: Shinichi Takahashi, Suguru Kubota, Shinichi Takahashi
Screenplay: Lee Sang-il
Cinematographers: Norimichi Kasamatsu
Editors: Tsuyoshi Imai
Music: Taro Iwashiro
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Yurusarezarumono (Unforgiven) (2013); Villain (2010); The Short Films: We Were All Once Children (2008); Hula Girls (2006); Scrap Heaven (2005); 69 Sixty Nine (2004); Border Line (2002); Chong (1999)
Language: Japanese
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Warner Entertainment Japan Inc.
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