An elderly wandering samurai arrives at the estate of a feudal lord and asks for an honourable place in which he can commit suicide. However, when he discovers a young samurai has arrived there ahead of him, the situation takes a surprising turn.
Awarded the 1963 Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Harakiri is unquestionably the film that anchored Kobayashi’s international renown. With music composed by Tôru Takemitsu and the stunning photography of Yoshio Miyajima, the film injects into the traditional jidaigeki genre some formal intentions and a spirit of contestation that differ in every respect from Akira Kurosawa’s contemporaneous and equally brilliant films, Yojimboand Sanjuro. JB