Onibi: The Fire Within

March 10, 2011
past event image
Film past event

1997, 101 min., 35 mm, color, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Rokuro Mochizuki. With Yoshio Harada, Reiko Kataoka, Sho Aikawa, Ko Kitamura.

Coming from a man who started his career as a porn director, this is a surprisingly spare and emotionally savage film. Often regarded as Rokuro Mochizuki’s masterpiece, Onibi injects both sexual passion and subdued sentiment into the macho world of yakuza cinema. Within the confines of the genre, Mochizuki artfully builds a parable of implacable fate, probing the leading performer’s inner life with a calm intensity that is almost unparalleled. Noriyuki Kunihiro (Yoshio Harada, in one of his most unforgettable roles) is a yakuza who has just spent half a lifetime in prison, doing time for a double murder. Although his former acolytes try to tempt him back into the fold, he prefers to put his aging but still strong body to more honest work. He finds love in the person of young pianist… and trouble soon follows.

Part of the Globus Film Series:
Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence

Before the film:
Yakuza in Popular Media & Real Life:
Cracks & Chasms
at 6:30 pm
From popular films to games and comic books, yakuza culture has been portrayed and discussed in many media. Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice–one of the rare books revealing real yakuza culture in Japan–discusses the differences between the image the yakuza want to project and how the major groups really function, and what the taboos are of depicting yakuza in Japan.

Film only: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
Lecture only: $12/$8 Japan Society members, seniors & students
Lecture & Film: $16/$12 Japan Society members

Special offer available only at Japan Society Box Office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online.  Advance sale only.

Buy Film Only Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm.

  • Thursday, March 10, 2011
  • 8:15 pm