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Moving and insightful, Eiji Sakata’s documentary offers an eye-opening look into the intimate workings of what it means to be a professional sumo wrestler in modern Japan. Filmed over the course of six months, Sumodo follows the lives of two wrestlers, Gōeidō Gōtarō and Ryūden Gōshi, as they prepare to battle it out on the legendary stage of Ryōgoku Kokugikan.
Considered to be descendants of samurai, these ‘gentlemen of strength’ dedicate their entire lives to sumo, priming themselves both mentally and physically for the sport. From grueling, rigorous training sessions to flesh on flesh clashes in the ring, they are required to overcome both physical and emotional challenges in the process. Director Sakata unveils the prowess, personalities, fears and joys of these dedicated athletes, and offers a touching documentary that will capture the hearts of anyone wanting to learn more about this revered piece of Japanese culture.
Nominated for Best Documentary by the Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival 2021
Thursday 28th October
Gōeidō Gōtarō, Ryūden Gōshi
Palace Barracks, Palace Raine Square