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Oshima hiatus over with ‘Forbidden’ pic

Shochiku unspooling pic in Japan

TOKYO — One of Japan’s most controversial directors, Nagisa Oshima, ended a 13-year helming absence when his new movie about homosexual liaisons that almost destroy a band of samurai had its world bow Monday.

The movie, “Gohatto” (Forbidden) toplines Beat Takeshi and will play at about 140 theaters in Japan starting Dec. 18. The film will be distributed by Shochiku in Japan while international distribution rights are held by France’s Canal Plus.

Oshima shocked the Japanese cinema in the early 1960s with movies such as “The Cruel Story of Youth” and “Taiyo no Hakaba” (The Sun’s Burial), which told passionate stories of the nation’s youthful rebels trying to find a place in a turbulent society as the nation finally found its feet after the war.

In “Forbidden,” Oshima tells the story of a promising young swordsman who also attracts the sexual attention of many of the higher-ranking men in a samurai group called Shinsen-gumi. Love, jealousy and the code of the warrior unite the group — and also tear it apart.

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