The Yakuza Papers
Dir: Kinji Fukasaku
Scr: Kazuo Kasahara
Prod Co.: Toei
Cast: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka, Nobuo Kaneko, Tatsuo Umemiya
1973 / Colour / 35mm / Japanese / Eng subtitles / 99min
Until this point, the Japanese Yakuza film had followed the tradition of the samurai dramas, portraying yakuza gangsters as noble warriors bound by a code of honour and loyalty. In the eyes of Fukasaku Kinji, however, there was no place for such old fashioned and unrealistic behaviour, he thumbed his nose at his seniors and presented the grim, bloody reality of organised crime in post-war Japan. Based on a series of newspaper articles that were themselves adapted from the confessional memoirs of real-life yakuza Mino Kozo, Kinji shoots his film like a wartime news broadcast, using handheld cameras and real sound. Sugawara Bunta plays Hirono, a young soldier living in the refugee camps of Hiroshima, just after the Americans dropped the bomb. Together with his friends he is drawn to the glamour of the various local gangs, but they soon find themselves at odds with the old-fashioned bosses who demand loyalty and respect while keeping themselves safe and comfortable away from the bloodshed. The harder Hirono fights against these outdated ideals, the deeper he is drawn into a life of crime.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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