Hana-bi (Fireworks)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Film Movement Classics
1997
103 Minutes
Japan
Japanese
Romance, Drama, Asian, Classics
Not Rated

Feeling responsible for the shattered lives of his loved ones, beleaguered police detective Nishi (Takeshi Kitano) takes desperate measures to try and set things right in a world gone wrong. With his wife suffering from leukemia and his partner paralyzed from a brutal gangster attack, Nishi borrows money from a yakuza loan shark and then robs a bank to clear his debt. The yakuza, however, are not so easily bought off, sending Nishi down a road paved with nihilism and violence. Considered Kitano's first true cinematic masterpiece, HANA-BI demonstrates the auteur's immense talents both in front of and behind the camera.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Takeshi Kitano
  • Starring: Takeshi Kitano
  • Starring: Kayoko Kishimoto
  • Starring: Ren Osugi
  • Starring: Susumu Terajima

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Reviews

  • "[A] masterpiece…brutal and tender…As writer, director, and star, Kitano creates a beautifully abstract, intricately structured meditation on personal obligation, considering the strong grip that a life of violence has on those who’ve lived it."
    Noel Murray, The Los Angeles Times
  • "... an exceptional piece of filmmaking, a drama that blurs the line between the ultra-violent cop movie genre and weepy but moving melodrama, and does it very convincingly."
    Jeff Vice, Deseret News
  • "One of [Kitano’s] best and most powerful...."
    Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects