The River Fuefuki

Original Title: Fuefukigawa

French Title: La Rivière Fuefuki

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita

Year: 1960

This is a strange one. A samurai film told from the peasants’ perspective, where relatively uneventful peasant life is juxtaposed with surreal and incredible battle scenes.

The whole film is in truth surreal. This is partly due to the somewhat experimental technique employed by the director. Splotches of primary colour over beautiful black and white cinematography. Sometimes (during certain battle scenes) everything is filtered in green; or red; or orange. Occasional use of stills.

Due to the strangeness of it, I didn’t really get used to the director’s code until about half way through the film. Which is to say that it does work, but one needs to get in the same headspace as him.

This picture, unlike most samurai flicks, is essentially an anti war film, highlighting the utter stupidity that impelled peasants to go off and die for their “lords”.


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