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Yûkoku, or The Rite of Love and Death

Director:  Yukio Mishima and Domoto Masaki
Year Released:  1966
Rating:  3.5

The great Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima only directed one film in his life, and this was it: the story of a soldier who has to commit suicide after a failed coup. Methodically paced and almost dream-like, it's a shame Mishima never directed another movie - this short shows he had great control over pacing, direction and editing (it plays out like a Greek tragedy or Shakespearean theater). Its relevance is biographical, as well, since he would - several years later - actually commit suicide out of disgust for Japan's political and social changes (he would no doubt be greatly displeased by today's Japan).

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