“But who made animals of them?”
Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai remains a perennial critical and popular favorite. Set in the late 1580′s in Japan, a group of farmers hires seven masterless samurai to defend their village from bandits.
The three-hour masterpiece is streaming on Netflix right now. Apparently Criterion or somebody else is going to release a new, remastered collection of Kurosawa’s work. Most of his catalogue is streaming. Snow day off work? Time to revisit Kurosawa.
I find his films take on the complexity and ambivalence of violent behavior quite truthfully, for a fictional medium. Additionally his post-war films become a long consideration of Japanese identity both during and after American occupation. All ripe territory for my minor obsession, the poetics of annihilation.
The impassioned speech in this clip speaks to the consequences of war. The film’s historical moment : ongoing lawless strife. The farmers ~ that nourishing class ~ besieged by the process of violence again and again become animals …