Amid the sociopolitical turmoil following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, a group of radical male anarchists who call themselves the Guillotine Society cross paths with an itinerant female sumo troupe and form a bond strengthened by their shared resistance to rising militarism and racist vigilante nationalists targeting socialists and Koreans. Chronicling a country caught between flowering liberal democracy and a reactionary shift towards fascism, Takahisa Zeze’s exhilarating and sprawling epic paints a compelling portrait of the late Taisho era using historical incidents and figures while highlighting the little-known story of Japanese women’s sumo—a sport that continues to relegate women’s participation to non-professional circuits. Please note: This film contains strong sexual content including depictions of sexual violence.
“A high-energy passion project.” —The Japan Times
Streaming May 7-28 as part of Japan Society’s Passing the Torch series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.