in about 100 words or less
US/Japan, 120m B&W, Colour
Director: Paul Schrader; Cast: Ken Ogata, Masayuki Shionoya, Junkichi Orimoto, Kenji Sawada
Exploring concepts of beauty, art, sexuality and the human form, this is a fascinating and stylized docudrama based on the life and death of famed writer Yukio Mishima. Opening with Mishima’s plans to commit ritual suicide, the film weaves black and white flashbacks of the writer’s life with colourful dramatizations of his novels. Combined, these stories and images provide context to Mishima’s inner conflicts and his controversial views on traditional Japanese values, culture and extreme nationalism. Banned in Japan, this film is an unforgettable portrait of Mishima’s life, art and death, whose components are nearly indistinguishable (Klaus Ming November 2014).