Director: Sang-il Lee, 2013, Japan, 135 mins
Satellite Screening at the Glasgow Film Festival
Award winning director Sang-il Lee (Hula Girls) mounts a handsome, powerful remake of Clint Eastwood’s iconic 1992 Western film of the same name.
Set in post-Meiji Restoration Hokkaido, it stars Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima) as Jubei Kamata, an ageing warrior who has left his crimes under the former Edo shogunate behind him. But poverty, and possibly a chance for redemption, allows a friend to persuade him to come out of retirement. Lavishly recreating its 1880s setting, which includes replacing guns with samurai swords, Lee effortlessly transposes the original film’s themes of vengeance, loyalty and regret to its new setting. Unforgiven has been a major hit at festivals the world over.
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