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He is arguably Japan’s most influential artist, but how much is known about the life of Katsushika Hokusai? Directed by Hajime Hashimoto, this insightful biopic depicts the frantic life of the legendary Japanese ukiyo-e artist, in all its glory and setbacks. The story takes place during the final decades of the Edo period, when many facets of popular culture were suppressed by the shogunate and labeled as ‘morally corrupt’. A young and immature Hokusai (Yūya Yagira, Nobody Knows) can barely make ends meet with his art, until famous publisher Tsutaya Jūzaburō (Hiroshi Abe, The Crimes That Bind, JFF 2018) discovers his talent. He helps Hokusai find his unique style and originality, but not without pitting him against ukiyo-e talents such as Utamaro and Sharaku! After a tragic loss in his later years, an artistically mature Hokusai (Min Tanaka, Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura JFF 2018 ) revisits his view of art as a political act against the system.
Featuring a star-studded cast, this dramatic retelling of Hokusai’s life is based on the thorough research of historical documents, with impactful scenes of wild weather serving as dramatic punctuation throughout the film.
Thursday 28th October
Min Tanaka, Hiroshi Abe
Palace Barracks, Palace Raine Square