Gohatto (1999) AKA Taboo


The young and handsome Kano Sozaburo is admitted to the Shinsengumi, an elite samurai group that seeks to defend the Tokugawa shogunate against reformist forces. Kano is a skilled swordsman, but his physical beauty leads the members of the strictly male group to compete for his affections, generating tensions that threaten to become lethal. In Gohatto, Nagisa Oshima explores the ambiguous forms of masculinity that the samurai code concealed, with a terrific cast including Ryuhei Matsuda, Takeshi Kitano and Tadanobu Asano subtly capturing the dangers of repressed homoerotic desire.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima. AKA 御法度 / Taboo.
Writers: Ryôtarô Shiba (novel), Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay).
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Ryûhei Matsuda, Shinji Takeda, Tadanobu Asano, Yôichi Sai, Jirô Sakagami, Kôji Matoba, Masa Tommies, Masatô Ibu, Zakoba Katsura, Tomorô Taguchi.

2000 Cannes Film Festival – Nominated for the Palme d’Or.


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  1. Jonathan Shapiro
    February 10, 2022

    The final shot epitomizes Nagisa Oshima’s entire career-chopping down a cherry blossom tree, demolishing and deconstructing Japan’s myths of itself. My god, what an amazing artist.

    August 5, 2022

    I am re-entering Oshima territory after nearly 50 years when his IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES took me off guard and fairly seared me. Thank you for posting this.

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