Sanchu Uprising: Voices at Dawn

Yamasaki’s highly inventive take on the jidaigeki (historical drama) concerns a group of rural farmers treated poorly by tax authorities in the 18th-century Okayama town of Sanchu. On the verge of starvation, the farmers protest both the rising tax rate and the lack of access to the crops they grow… until samurai are dispatched to keep them under control. A devastating uprising appears inevitable. Combining glorious black-and-white cinematography in natural-light situations, animation, and an inventive final sequence that transports us to the modern day, Sanchu Uprising is both unique in style and compelling in its theme of wrestling with difficult choices.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Historical, Drama