The Ondekoza

July 16, 2017
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Film past event


The last work by master director Tai Kato ( 1916-1985), known best for his Toei yakuza films, is a visually striking and sumptuously colorful documentary about the influential Ondekoza taiko troupe from Sado Island, Japan. Following the physically intense training of the young Ondekoza members and intercut with performance footage shot with gusto within elaborate set-pieces, the film pushes the limits of documentary into the realm of feverish imagination. Upon its completion, Kato had said that it was the first time in his life he was able to make a film exactly the way he wanted. Previously released only at a very limited scale in Japan, this new 4K scan restoration in celebration of Kato’s centenary will be a new discovery for many.

1981. 105 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tai Kato.

“Watching a Kato picture is a pure pleasure.” —Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

World Premiere, 73rd Venice Film Festival, Classics Section.

Part of JAPAN CUTS 2017.

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$14/$11 seniors & students / $10 Japan Society members

Special Offers

Five-Film Pass: Purchase tickets for at least 5 different films in the same transaction and receive $2 off each ticket (Offer not valid for July 13 screening of MUMON: The Land of Stealth or July 20 screening of Over the Fence).

Box Office Policy

The Ondekoza © 1989 "The Ondekoza" Film Partners

  • Sunday, July 16, 2017
  • 2:00 pm