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Black Belt

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Original title
Kuro-obi (Black Belt)
Running time
95 min.
Japan Japan
Jôji Iida
Naoki Sato
Masato Kaneko
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Cross Media
Action. Drama | Martial Arts. Karate. 1930s
Synopsis / Plot
It is the early 1930s and Japan has annexed the Manchurian region of northern China. Its imperialist ambitions have been unleashed, and storm clouds are slowly forming. On the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, the techniques and traditions of karate are being passed by the master Shibahara to his three students, Taikan, Giryu and Choei. They have excelled in their physical training, and when they can achieve the same perfection in the realm of the philosophical, one of the three will wear the venerable teacher’s belt as the school’s new master. But the intrusion of the military police shatters their peace. In a confrontation, Choei is crippled, Taikan displays his ruthless temper and humble Giryu makes a tragic error in sparing the life of the police squad’s commander. This gentle gesture will have violent consequences—ones which will weigh heavily on the heart of Giryu, who abides by his master’s pacifist rules, and inflame the cold, cruel ambitions of the dangerous Taikan.
2007: Montréal World Film Festival: Official Selection
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