Skip to content
MUSEUM AND NWFC CLOSED: The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are closed in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All public programs, screenings, and events are canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan 1980 180 mins. In Japanese

Late in his career, master director Kurosawa turned to vivid color cinematography and a particularly procedural kind of historical epic, making some of the grandest (and most expensive) films in Japanese film history. Kagemusha—coming in the middle of a long stretch of masterpieces like Dodes’ka-den and Ran—concerns the dying warlord Shingen (Kurosawa regular Tatsuya Nakadai) who wants to hold power even after his death, employing a petty thief who happens to be his doppelgänger. Confusion reigns as competing warlords seek advantage to control vast swaths of Japanese society in the Sengoku (roughly 16th century) period. A tumultuous production from the beginning all the way through to its editing stage, Kagemusha is nonetheless one of Kurosawa’s most sublimely beautiful films, featuring a series of  stunning set pieces. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Genres: jidaigeki

Appears in: 2018 on Celluloid