Search - Blood And Bones on DVD


Blood And Bones
Blood And Bones
Actors: Takeshi Kitano, Hirofumi Arai
Director: Yoichi Sai
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2008     2hr 24min

Internationally acclaimed actor and director Takeshi Kitano gives his most captivating performance yet as Kim Shunpei, a Korean immigrant in Japan whose life is a disturbing tableau of cruelty, abuse and shocking violence....  more »

     
1

Larger Image

Movie Details

Actors: Takeshi Kitano, Hirofumi Arai
Director: Yoichi Sai
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/11/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 24min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
See Also:

Similar Movies

Brother
Director: Takeshi Kitano
3
   R   2002   1hr 54min
Blood Bone
7
   R   2009   1hr 33min
Fireworks
Director: Takeshi Kitano
2
   UR   2000   1hr 43min
 

Movie Reviews

Beautiful Violence
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 01/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945 and during this time period a couple million Koreans left their homes to reside and work in Japan. Most of these individuals, especially during the war years, 1931-1945, were forced to leave Korea to work in Japan in coal mines, factories, etc. and when the Japanese were on the cusp of losing the war Koreans were even forced to serve in the imperial army and navy. However, there were also some Koreans who went to Japan to better their lives and/or to support their families back in Korea. Blood and Bones concerns the long, violent life of Kim Shunpei (Joon-pyong), a first generation Korean in Japan who uses his brute strength and single-mindedness to make a fortune while domineering over his family for generations.

In Japan, Kim Shunpei meets Lee Yong-hee, a woman who fled Korea after, at the age of 16, being married to a ten year old boy, and marries her after Lee Yong-hee is fired from her factory job after her manager impregnates her. Faced with discrimination and a life of hard labor, Kim Shunpei is prone to outbursts of violence and lust which combine to almost daily beatings and nonconsensual sex for his wife. Fortunately for Lee Yong-hee, Kim Shunpei often disappears for extended periods of time, such as when the war was at its height, and she and her family have respites of peace. Unfortunately, Kim Shunpei always returns along with his violence.

Although prone to excess when it comes to alcohol and women, Kim Shunpei is also a very determined individual. When he gets an idea into his head, he clings to it tenaciously and is willing to work himself and others until near death to reach his goals. Therefore, when he decides to make a fishcake shop, it becomes a huge success and Kim Shunpei becomes rich. This money, even though he is Korean, allows him to lord over others, including Japanese businessmen. Cruel, violent, rich, and lustful can Kim Shunpei be stopped?

Based on a novel written by Yan Songil, and directed by resident Korean director Sai Yoichi, Quill, All Under the Moon, Blood and Bones is one of the most violent films that I have watched. There is no gore, but Beat Takeshi's character is the personification of unbridled brutality that borders on excessive at some points. However, I do believe that the violence portrayed in this film is important, because it does indeed depict, if excessively, the violence in which a number of first and second generation Koreans had to face in Japan both by the Japanese and their fellow resident Koreans during the prewar and early postwar periods of Japanese history.

For those who are interested in the subject of resident Koreans in Japan, be sure to also watch Oshima Nagisa's Death by Hanging, Imamura Shohei's My Second Brother, and Yukisada Isao's Go."
Once upon a time in Japan
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 02/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blood will be spilled. Bones will be broken. Shunpei Kim is not a man willing to let something as weak as respect for human flesh get in his way, and if sets about to build an empire of fishcakes, you can be sure that he will, even if he has to beat into submission every living thing around him to get there.

Although based on a true story, authored by Shunpei's son Sogiru Yang, "Blood and Bones" (A literal translation of Japanese title "Chi to Hone") is not an uncommon plot. We have seen it time and again in American gangster flicks showing Italian immigrants fighting their way up from the bottom until they dominate the viscous landscape. If there is an interesting twist here, it is in showing the life of a Korean immigrant to Japan, a place where ethnic hatred has ghettoized the new arrivals, forcing them into dirty districts where little can be achieved. Also, where the American dramas tend to be sweeping epics, this is a tight and personal film, and the story is all about the brutal Shunpei's journey across the years.

The bleakness of this film is in direct contrast to director Yoichi Sai's other films, such as the lovable guide dog "Quill". There is a harness here that speaks of reality, and although a man of great willpower and determination, it is impossible to find anything good in the domineering Shunpei, a man who rapes his own wife repeatedly, and keeps mistresses like slaves. The film might seem like little more than an exercise in violence if it weren't for the outstanding performance by Takeshi Kitano in the lead role. Being the quintessential Japanese actor, it is a little odd at first to see Takeshi as a Korean immigrant, but by the virtuosity of his Daniel Day-Lewis-worthy performance, one is soon sucked into the story and not released until the final scene.

"Blood and Bones" won a whole slew of Japanese Academy Awards in 2005 when it was initially released. It is a film not to be missed."
4 stars: An Unflinching Character Study of a Malevolent Fa
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 10/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"BLOOD AND BONES (2004) is directed by Yoichi Sai; a Japanese-born Korean who is also responsible for such acclaimed hits such as "Soo" and "Quill". It has been revealed that Sai had waited 6 years for Takeshi Kitano to star in this film of a truly dark character study of a Korean immigrant in Japan and rightfully so. I do believe that no one but an actor of Kitano's caliber would be able to pull this off. This is the first time in almost 10 years that Kitano steps into the screen under the direction of someone other than himself. This film is Yoichi Sai's breakout hit, and Takeshi "Beat" Kitano gives a remarkable performance as one; if not the MOST unlikable characters in Asian cinema. I kid you not.

Synopsis loosely derived from the region-3 Panorama dvd back cover:
In 1923, Kim Shunpei (Takeshi Kitano) left Cheju, an isolated island in South Korea for Osaka, Japan dreaming of making a fortune in a new land.
Contrary to his hopes, what was waiting for Kim in Japan is a life of discrimination and hard labor. With ruthlessness and cunning wiles, Kim overcomes the obstacles against him to open a Kamaboko (Fish cake) factory, which before long is a success, bringing him the fortune he coveted for so long. Kim Shun-pei gradually becomes a ruthless, merciless loan shark. Blood and Bones paints an unflinching portrait of a man deeply bound to his ego and obsessions and the web of turmoil his wife, mistresses, children, relatives and all those around him are drawn into as a result of his brutal choices and malevolent nature.

The film is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Yan Sugiru, it is a defining role for Takeshi Kitano. Blood and Bones is not a heartwarming story about a man who rises above all obstacles to achieve his fortune and pride. Shunpei Kim is one individual who has achieved all his riches due to the hardships of others. The first scene actually shows him sexually abusing his wife in front of his daughter, truly this is a character study of a malevolent brutal man who thrives on intimidation and violence. Kim beats his wife and children and even has his mistress move into a new house that he had purchased across the corner; a demonstration of his insufferable characteristics. This is a man incapable of any love or tenderness, his one driving force may be rage and violence.

The Fish Cake factory employees are also treated with abuse and disregard. When an employee asked for a raise in pay, his response is brutal abuse. His rise as a prominent figure in the Korean community in Japan is not fueled by accommodation and admiration but rather by violence and intimidation. When his Fish cake fortune grew, he expanded his enterprise to loan sharking. He walks the street with a big stick and mercilessly beats all who owes him money. He is indifferent to all except himself.

If you read between the lines and the images of the film you will see that there may be a hidden reason behind Kim's malevolent ruthless nature, it may be because he had suffered abuse and torture in Korea as signified by the scars on his back. (I didn't feel any sympathy or understanding for him though). One may wonder how such behavior can be tolerated. Unfortunately, the spirits of his family and relatives have been pounded to powder by this insufferable character. They feel that they can't move away nor challenge his ire.

As the decades past, we see Kim's family grow and his mistresses have children of their own. The film focuses mostly on Kim's character that most supporting roles eventually disappear through the times. The viewer can tell that the passage of time would occur with the birth of grandchildren, the appearance of cars and passing aircraft. Director Sai gives the film a very claustrophobic feel by immersing the viewer in the proceedings in a single street, which after awhile, becomes mostly occupied by Shunpei Kim's family and relatives. Six decades of the film's backdrop is compressed into 2 ½ hours. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of the history of Korean immigrants in Japan so I cannot fully express the reasons behind the situation.

Blood and Bones is an unflinching character study of a single man, but in all fairness and honesty, it only serves as a backdrop for Kitano's fantastic performance. When one thinks about it, the character of Shunpei Kim may well be the sum total of all the ruthless characters Kitano has played in the past. Critics may say that the scenes may get a bit repetitive after awhile, Kim beats, abuses and uses through the decades but that is the WHOLE point. No redeeming qualities, no change happens within Kim, no realization of his mistakes, no conscience, NO regret and remorse. "Blood and Bones" is truly unrelenting and maybe even nihilistic at times. Shunpei Kim remains and stands as one, if not the most malevolent figures (if intriguing) characters in cinema; Japanese, Korean or Hollywood. This film can't be described as anything but "epic violence". This film is one of those that silenced my voice for awhile, and with the second viewing privy to this review, it did not lose any of its effect. I still feel no sympathy for Kim's character and felt a bit disturbed about the things he has done. Unfortunately, such people do exist in real life. Sad, but true.

RECOMMENDED timidly but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fans of truly challenging cinema [4 ½ stars]



"
Once upon a time in Japan
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 10/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blood will be spilled. Bones will be broken. Shunpei Kim is not a man willing to let something as weak as respect for human flesh get in his way, and if sets about to build an empire of fishcakes, you can be sure that he will, even if he has to beat into submission every living thing around him to get there.

Although based on a true story, authored by Shunpei's son Sogiru Yang, "Blood and Bones" (A literal translation of Japanese title "Chi to Hone") is not an uncommon plot. We have seen it time and again in American gangster flicks showing Italian immigrants fighting their way up from the bottom until they dominate the viscous landscape. If there is an interesting twist here, it is in showing the life of a Korean immigrant to Japan, a place where ethnic hatred has ghettoized the new arrivals, forcing them into dirty districts where little can be achieved. Also, where the American dramas tend to be sweeping epics, this is a tight and personal film, and the story is all about the brutal Shunpei's journey across the years.

The bleakness of this film is in direct contrast to director Yoichi Sai's other films, such as the lovable guide dog Quill. There is a harness here that speaks of reality, and although a man of great willpower and determination, it is impossible to find anything good in the domineering Shunpei, a man who rapes his own wife repeatedly, and keeps mistresses like slaves. The film might seem like little more than an exercise in violence if it weren't for the outstanding performance by Takeshi Kitano in the lead role. Being the quintessential Japanese actor, it is a little odd at first to see Takeshi as a Korean immigrant, but by the virtuosity of his Daniel Day-Lewis-worthy performance, one is soon sucked into the story and not released until the final scene.

"Blood and Bones" won a whole slew of Japanese Academy Awards in 2005 when it was initially released. It is a film not to be missed."