Mifune–wry, charismatic and deadly, was the first non-white action star.
MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)* is the new feature-length documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki that explores the evolution of the samurai film. Narrated by Keanu Reeves, Mifune: The Last Samurai highlights Mifune’s childhood, his World War II experience, his accidental entry into the movies, and his dynamic but sometimes turbulent collaboration with Kurosawa. The documentary includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Teruyo Nogami (Kurosawa’s longtime script supervisor), Kyoko Kagawa of Red Beard (1965), Yoshio Tsuchiya of Seven Samurai (1954), Takeshi Kato of Throne of Blood (1957), and Yoko Tsukasa of Yojimbo (1961).
“A lot of people try to imitate Mifune, especially when they’re playing strong and silent,” says Steven Spielberg, “ but nobody can. He was unique in all the world.”
Nearly 20 years after his death, Toshiro Mifune remains a true giant of world cinema. He has made 16 remarkable films with director Akira Kurosawa, including Rashômon (1950), Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo. Together they shook the film world, inspiring not only The Magnificent Seven (1960), and Clint Eastwood’s breakthrough movie A Fistful of Dollars (1964), but also George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) (original title), also known as Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015) opens theatrically Friday, November 25, 2016, in New York (IFC Center), with additional cities including Los Angeles (December 2, 2016), San Francisco (December 9, 2016), with a wider national release to follow.
Opening November 25, 2016, in select theaters.
*Official Selection: Telluride Film Festival 2016, AFI Film Festival 2016, and BFI London Film Festival 2016.
Director: Steven Okazaki
Writers: Stuart Galbraith IV, Steven Okazaki
Stars: Wataru Akashi, Kyôko Kagawa, Takeshi Katô
Runtime: 80 minutes
Language: In English and Japanese (with Subtitles)
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2016 of Strand Releasing. All rights are reserved.