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Black Belt


aka: Kuro-obi
Japan 2007, 92 minutes
Dir. Shunichi Nagasaki
In Japanese with English subtitles
Genres: Foreign Cinema, Action/Adventure / Martial Arts, War

Topics: Period 1930s.


Aroview: Defence meets attack in this measured martial arts drama set in 1930s Japan, in which two karate experts (played by real-life karate pros) take divergent approaches to protecting the legacy of the dojo from the corrupting force of the Japanese Army.

Marketed as Japan’s answer to the spectacularly physical ONG BAK, though in actuality much more restrained, this deceptively simple yin and yang parable is rendered with a refined visual grace and depth of moral complexity that harks back to classic samurai cinema, and if the unfashionably unadorned fight sequences are short on razzle-dazzle, their authenticity lends the film a power rarely seen in these days of effects extravaganzas.

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DVD Features

  • 'making of' documentary / featurette
  • trailers

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