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The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine

Drama, History 3h 9m 2018


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 in the U.S. May 7-28 as part of Japan Society’s Passing the Torch series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.

Part of Aim for the Best: Sports in Japanese Cinema | Rent all three films together for $24

Director

Takahisa Zeze

Language

Japanese

Subtitles

English

Country

Japan

Studio

Free Stone

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