Japan, 1973, 97 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Toshiya Fujita, Not Rated, Japanese with English subtitles, Janus Films
“Always colorful, here Fujita’s scenes of beautifully composed bloodshed appear positively Sirkian.” –Katie Rife, A.V. Club
Gory revenge is raised to the level of visual poetry in Toshiya Fujita’s stunning Lady Snowblood. A major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga, this endlessly inventive film, set in late nineteenth-century Japan, charts the single-minded path of vengeance taken by a young woman, Yuki (Meiko Kaji), whose parents were the unfortunate victims of a gang of brutal criminals.
Yuki exhibits samurai traits, but she stands out because she is a woman. “Female warriors were uncommon in Japanese cinema in 1973, and absolutely unheard of during the Meiji period, when women in Japan had no voting privileges or official political power,” writes Russ Fisher of IndieWire. Fujita creates a wildly entertaining action film of remarkable craft, an effortless balancing act between beauty and violence.
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