Sen no Rikyu: Honkakubô ibun (Death of a Tea Master) /1989/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir:  Kei Kumai
Why FiC recommends?
1) A magnificent work of Japanese cinematic art starring Mifune Toshiro. It tells the story of what led to the death of Sen no Rikyu, the influential sixteenth-century tea master who served the warlord Hideyoshi. Drawn from the pages of Japanese history! In Kei Kumai’s vision on this subject, a tension can be established between the physical and the spiritual, between the shadow of the forces and the perspective and the acquisition of wisdom when compared to Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Rikyu which leaned more on the political and social context while Death of a Tea Master focused on the philosophy.
2)  One of the best films ever made in Japan. One of the greatest productions in world cinema with moderate budget and it captures the very essence of its title, thoroughly justifying it, etches out characters. And this is why the ending plays as the perfect emotional pay-off for a film so full of frustrating inhibitions, a light of hope after an eternity spent.

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